The Australian manufacturing sector expanded for a fifth straight month in November – the longest run of expansionary readings in the past five years.
The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) improved by 2.3 points to 52.5 (readings above 50 indicate expansion in activity).
“Improvements in sales, exports, production, new orders and employment underwrote another stronger manufacturing performance in November,” said Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox.
Mr Willox said the positive result was due mainly to:
· A more competitive Australian dollar
· Considerable cost savings and other efficiencies introduced by manufacturers in recent years
· Continuing strong demand from residential construction businesses.
However, areas of weakness remain most notably in the important metals and machinery and equipment sub-sectors.
Those sectors are continuing to feel pressures from tough global market conditions and the weakening in Australia of mining investment and automotive assembly, Mr Willox said.
Five of the eight manufacturing sub-sectors expanded (above 50 points in three-month moving averages): wood & paper products (up 3.2 points to 67.2); textiles, clothing, footwear, furniture & other (down 4.9 points to 52.0); petroleum, coal, chemical & rubber products (down 0.1 point to 57.4); non-metallic mineral products (up 5.4 points to 58.0); and food & beverages (up 2.7 points to 52.4).
Machinery and equipment was down 1.9 points to 43.1, metal products (up 0.9 points to 49.0), and very small printing & recorded media (up 1.0 point to 47.6) sub-sectors all remained in contraction.