Manufacturing outlook ‘highest’ for almost 15 years

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Confidence in the manufacturing sector is at its highest level since June 2003, with the sector investing for growth on the back of healthy profits and sales, according to illion’s latest Business Expectations Survey.

 The latest analysis reveals business confidence across all sectors rose 13.7 percent compared to the prior corresponding period, primarily driven by expectations for profits, sales and employment.

The Business Expectations index is now at its highest level since late 2015.

Stephen Koukoulas, illion Economic Adviser, said the broad nature of the result bodes well for the economy in the near term.

“Manufacturing firms that were able to withstand the global financial crisis and the Australian dollar above parity are now in a healthy financial position, buoyed by a stronger global economy and a lower Australian dollar,” he said.

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Consumer confidence remains a key factor for business, according to the report, with almost one third of businesses (31.9 per cent) in agreement.

Meanwhile, results also show that utilities and operating costs across all industries remain an ongoing concern.

Simon Bligh, illion CEO,  said capital investment is crucial for sustained economic growth.

“Capital investment planning is showing signs of growth, which is crucial for sustained momentum.” he said.  

 “The Manufacturing and Construction sectors appear to be in particularly good spirits as we start the year, which is another positive sign of the underlying strength of the economy.”