none

Manufacturing activity on the rise

04-05-2010
by 
in 

Manufacturing picked up pace in April with the latest seasonally adjusted Australian Industry Group PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) rising 9.3 points to 59.8, well above the 50 point level separating expansion from contraction.

Healthier market conditions in the building and infrastructure sectors fuelled the growth with eleven sectors in positive territory last month. 

Clothing and footwear declined for the fourth consecutive month.  Employment rose significantly, with the sub-index up 7.3 points for an April reading of 55.2.

Australian Industry Group chief executive, Heather Ridout, said: "While the manufacturing sector still remains behind the levels of mid 2008, the encouraging results across much of the manufacturing sector in April are signs the recovery, which has been patchy to date, is now beginning to gain some traction.

"Although manufacturers are still battling severe headwinds in the form of the high dollar, the withdrawal of the fiscal stimulus and the return to 'normal' interest rates, the April Australian PMI shows a sector gaining lost ground as activity across the economy broadens. Reflecting continuing competitive pressures and the strength of the Australian dollar, exports are growing more modestly. In the near-term, the sector remains vulnerable to higher costs of financing and any reduction in demand that would flow from higher interest rates.”

Mrs Ridout warned there is no reason for complacency despite signs that a recovery is gathering pace.

The manufacturing sector faces fundamental challenges from emerging skills shortages and the commodity-fuelled Australian currency. 

“The coming Federal Budget presents an opportunity to address these challenges with active policy in the area of education and skills development, a resumption of pre-crisis levels of skilled immigration and far-sighted investments in innovation, research and development, business capabilities and export market development," Mrs Ridout said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Head of Industrial Manufacturing, Graeme Billings, said: "The improvement in demand conditions facing manufacturing in April is welcome.  “However, profitability will remain under pressure, given the ongoing significant lift in input cost growth, which we have seen over recent months.  Manufacturers will need to sustain a strong focus on cost management over coming quarters particularly in the face of rising skills shortages."

Related news & editorials

  1. 26.06.2019
    26.06.2019
    by      In
    Industrial work platforms should be easy to move, but they need to stand firmly when someone is working on them. Because Tente’s Alpha safety castors come with wheel locks they answer both these requirements when used in work platform designs.
    SNCB is the Belgian national railway company and has a... Read More
  2. 25.06.2019
    25.06.2019
    by      In
    Thirty per cent of worksite injuries occur during materials handling activities such as pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying, so it is critical to have the right equipment and ensure they are used properly. Increased legislation of workplace safety and the need for companies to run lean has... Read More
  3. 20.06.2019
    20.06.2019
    by      In
    The use of e-drives on service trolleys overcomes heavy loads and thick carpets in luxury hotels, while at sea, coloured castors blend into the fantasy world of Disney’s cruise ships.
    Service trolleys in hotels are piled with sheets, towels, cleaning equipment and items for mini-bars to the extent... Read More
  4. 19.06.2019
    19.06.2019
    by      In
    A company that has put the conveyor at the heart of the warehouse is just about to rack up 20 years in the business, and is finding its expertise in increasing demand as part of the logistics revolution brought about by today’s e-commerce addicted society.
    Founded in September 1999, Adept Conveyor... Read More