Manufacturing growth slows in August


Uncertainty related to the federal election was among the factors dampening demand in the manufacturing sector during August. 

The latest Australian Industry Group - PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturers Index (Australian PMI) fell 2.7 points to 51.7 in August partly due to slower growth in new orders and production (readings above 50 indicate an expansion in activity).

Strong mining, construction and infrastructure-related activity kept construction materials, basic metals and transport equipment in positive territory in the month.  Clothing and footwear also enjoyed a lift in growth, supported by the strengthening of employment prospects over recent months. 

Food and beverages and paper, printing and publishing sub-sectors experienced the biggest falls.

Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, said: "The Australian PMI recorded its eighth consecutive month of expansion, in part due to manufacturers’ links with the construction and mining sectors.    

“Nevertheless, election uncertainty, together with intense import competition and other ongoing impacts of a strong Australian dollar, is generating headwinds for manufacturers.

"Manufacturers have enjoyed a gradual expansion since the start of the year and, although August saw a decline in the pace of growth and new orders were flat, there are indications that the pace of recovery could strengthen in the months ahead.  

In particular, the stronger performance of the clothing and footwear and wood products and furniture sub sectors is encouraging and suggests that consumer demand may be picking up. 

“This is being supported by the healthy performance of the labour market over the past year," Ms Ridout said.      

PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Head of Industrial Manufacturing, Graeme Billings, said: "The recovery in manufacturing is proving to be somewhat slower than many have expected. In August political uncertainty detracted from overall performance adding to the range of challenges confronting both the sector and the broader economy.  While manufacturing is still recovering, we are not yet seeing the sort of impetus from the private sector that is needed to underwrite aggregate growth at a time of receding public sector demand."

Related news & editorials

  1. 19.02.2019
    by      In
    In the words of Safe Work Australia, “A hazardous manual task is where you have to lift, lower, push, pull, carry, hold or restrain something. It can include: repetitive movement, high or sudden force, sustained or awkward postures.”
    For any company that has assessed any of these risks as being a... Read More
  2. 15.02.2019
    by      In
    Honeywell’s new vehicle-mounted computer, the rugged Thor VM1A, is now available in Australia and New Zealand. Built for the company’s Mobility Edge platform, it helps forklift operators locate and move products quickly and efficiently throughout distribution centres.
    It runs on the Android... Read More
  3. 15.02.2019
    by      In
    Combilift’s Combi-PPT has been nominated as one of three finalists in the warehouse truck category of the international Intralogistics and Forklift Truck of the Year (IFOY) Award, one of the most prestigious and hotly contested international awards in the materials handling industry. From a large... Read More
  4. 14.02.2019
    by      In
    Schmalz is “raising the bar” for vacuum handling with the release of a system optimised for overhead handling tasks. The JumboFlex High-Stack can be used to ergonomically stack goods weighing up to 45kg to a height of up to 2.55m.
    Manually loading pallets with cardboard boxes or sacks is a tedious... Read More