Another tough month for manufacturers


Manufacturers experienced another tough month in September with several sub-sectors experiencing further decline, according to the latest data.

The Australian Industry Group - PwC Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) was down 1.0 point to 42.3, indicating a further weakening in the sector.

The sub sectors experiencing the deepest decline in activity were food and beverages, wood products and furniture, transport equipment and miscellaneous manufactures.

Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, said: "Caution continues to be the order of the day with most respondents uncertain about the outlook and citing little visibility in relation to business conditions beyond the short term. 

“The usual suspects of weak domestic demand, the strong Australian dollar, increased overseas competition and uncertainty surrounding proposed carbon pricing, continue to weigh on the sector.”

The AiGroup will closely monitor the Federal Government’s Tax Forum and Jobs Forum this week.

Ms Ridout said it is appropriate for the Tax Forum to focus on the pressures associated with the “two speed” economy.

“Further, the fact that the Australian PMI is suggesting 11 consecutive months of job losses heightens the importance of focusing on the pressures on manufacturing jobs at the Jobs Forum," Ms Ridout said.

PwC Australian Head of Industrial Products, Graeme Billings, said: "Manufacturers continue to battle very tough business conditions. Businesses are intent on further efficiency improvements, innovation and trialling new products, services and markets.  Key ingredients for success in the current environment are striving for excellence, relentless marketing and keeping close to customers."

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