PMI continues fall
Australia’s manufacturing sector is continuing to languish in the doldrums, according to the latest Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) released by the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group).
The PMI recorded a 44.4 posting for March, down 1.2 points on February, where any result below 50 indicates a contraction, and the distance from 50 indicative of the severity of the decrease.
Ai Group Chief, Innes Willox, said that the results show that ‘industry would certainly welcome a further reduction in official interest rates’.
The March Australian PMI® result is disappointing after the tentative signs of a pick-up in February. The strong dollar, falling selling prices, further cost pressures and the weakness of commercial and residential construction continue to take their toll,” Mr Willox said.
The latest figures include:
- The latest seasonally adjusted Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®) fell 1.2 points to 44.4 in March (readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity with the distance from 50 indicative of the strength of the decrease).
- March saw the reversal of the significant lift in the new orders and production sub-indices in February. The new orders sub-index fell to 39.4 and the production sub-index dropped to 41.7 in March.
- Wood & paper products recorded the only expansion in March (50.1).
- The non-metallic & mineral products; printing & recorded media; metal products; food, beverage & tobacco products; and textiles clothing & other manufacturers sub-sectors all recorded deteriorating conditions in March.
- The decline in manufacturing employment continued to ease in March with the sub-index rising by 1.2 points to 48.7.
- Input prices rose again in March with the sub-index recording a reading of 65.5.