none

Manufacturing activity still sluggish

15-02-2010
by 
in 
Manufacturing activity still sluggish

Australian manufacturing was buoyed by improvements in production levels and new orders last month, but remains in negative territory.

The latest Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) showed an easing in the rate of contraction. 

The seasonally adjusted index firmed by 1.9 points to 48.6 (readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity).

Despite some encouraging signs with production up (51.5) and new orders steady (50), manufacturing employment (47.4), stocks (45.5) and supplier deliveries (44.9) remained in negative territory. 

Export markets are still particularly tough for manufacturers with the sub-index falling below 30 points. A recent pickup in residential and commercial construction continues to support the non-metallic mineral products sub-sector, which rose 7.3 points to 64.8.  

"While an easing in the pace of contraction and the lift in production in February are welcome, overall conditions in manufacturing continue to reflect the intense pressures from the strong dollar, high energy costs and the legacy of a long period of low productivity growth, said Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox. 

“Manufacturers’ margins remain under considerable pressure and export sales are very weak. Yet it is critical that manufacturing builds competitiveness and productivity if the economy is to find new sources of growth as the boom in mining investment wanes.” 

Mr Willox said major efforts are now needed both by businesses and governments to lift the pace of innovation, to build business capabilities and to lift workforce skills in manufacturing.

“It is critical that we rebuild and recapitalise the sector and position it to take advantage of new opportunities and to assist in the task of rebalancing the economy which has become over-exposed to the fortunes of the mining sector." 

Related news & editorials

  1. 20.11.2018
    20.11.2018
    by      In
    Traditionally, Industry Update has published a Christmas Gift Guide at this time of year. But this year we thought it might be time for all of us to think of those less fortunate. So here’s the 2018 Industry Update Giving Guide.
    These charities need your support more than ever at this time of year... Read More
  2. 19.11.2018
    19.11.2018
    by      In
    Leading engineering technology and systems innovation consultancy Frazer-Nash has tripled the size of its Adelaide headquarters, with SA premier Steven Marshall officiating at the recent opening ceremony.
    The company’s Australian Director, Jonathan Armstrong said: “We’ve created 40 high value jobs... Read More
  3. 19.11.2018
    19.11.2018
    by      In
    Following the success of this year’s Electronex at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, the show organiser has announced that the 2019 Expo will be held in the new extension of the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on the 11th and 12th September next year.
    The Sydney event was judged an... Read More
  4. 15.11.2018
    15.11.2018
    by      In
    It’s less than a year since Lapp Australia started trading, but the company has swiftly established itself in the local market, with significant penetration in sectors such as food and beverage, manufacturing, solar, sound and stage production, electrical contracting, machine building and... Read More