none

AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING CONTINUES TO GROW FOR 20TH MONTH

01-06-2018
by 
in 

Australian manufacturing industry continues to perform, with the Ai Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index easing slightly to 57.5 in May, marking the 20th consecutive month of growth. But while the current “bull run” is beginning to draw comparisons with the sustained growth of the early years of the 21st century, it still has a way to go to match the 50 consecutive months of growth between July 2001 and July 2005.

Looking behind the headline figures, sales levels were stable in May (50.4), while finished stocks contracted (47.0), as manufacturers drew down on inventories, with some reporting shortages or delays in raw material supplies. Encouragingly, new orders remained above 60 points – a good sign of ongoing demand and continuing growth for the sector.

The machinery and equipment subsector remained strong at 59.9, and has now recorded 19 consecutive months of stable or expanding activity, following five years of contraction. Equipment for mining, agriculture and food processing and vehicles such as trucks, trains, buses and boats all appear to be in demand, although some manufacturers are seeing increased competition from cheaper imports.

However, business conditions are still far from perfect. The input prices subindex rose to 70.0 in May on the back of increasing energy costs, and wages remained elevated (58.4). The selling prices subindex dropped 2.4 points to 55.1, but exports recovered from a poor showing in April, returning to positive growth at 52.5.

In announcing the figures, Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox highlighted the increase in manufacturing employment, saying: "The recovery of manufacturing employment has been a feature of this period of expansion. As is the case in other parts of the economy, this employment growth has been facilitated by moderate wage outcomes.”

Related news & editorials

  1. 11.02.2019
    11.02.2019
    by      In
    Alic Knispel knew the meaning of hard work and the value of a dollar. In fact, in 1933, he jumped on his pushbike and rode 227km from Adelaide to Moorook in South Australia’s Riverland just to get a job.
    As a young man, he toiled hard and saved fastidiously for many years to save up enough to buy a... Read More
  2. 06.02.2019
    06.02.2019
    by      In
    Brian Hughes’ journey as Managing Director of Composite Materials Engineering (CME) has spanned three decades. With a continued focus on diversifying as much as possible, the business has always “tried not to be in one business or one market all the time,” he says.
    This has seen CME dabble... Read More
  3. 04.02.2019
    04.02.2019
    by      In
    When you think of staircase construction, the first things that come to mind are traditional trades, such as carpentry and metalwork – but one forward-thinking manufacturing business that has been crafting staircases since 1971 has taken innovative steps to futurise its business with the use of... Read More
  4. 04.02.2019
    04.02.2019
    by      In
    Microbreweries are an expanding part of the Australian food and drink manufacturing sector. However, because of their scale, they face a dilemma on how to keep production levels rising while capping costs.
    For those of us who love the amber nectar, the plethora of beers has never been greater. Many... Read More