Manufacturing News

Cautious start to the year for manufacturers

GLOBAL market turbulence contributed to a cautious start to the year for manufacturers with the leading market indicator for manufacturing activity, the Australian Industry Group – PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®), falling by 8.4 points in the month to 49.2.

The January fall follows 19 consecutive months of growth for the sector and also reflects concerns about interest rates and rising input costs, along with seasonal influences.

Ai Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, said: “The January Australian PMI® outcome is clearly disappointing, but needs to be seen in the context of a strong finish to 2007.

“How events unfold in global financial markets and the future course of interest rates will be important in shaping the prospects for the industry in the months ahead.

“Nevertheless, at this stage manufacturers remain reasonably positive with moderate growth predicted for the year in the face of intensely competitive market conditions,” Mrs Ridout said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Leader of Industrial Manufacturing, Graeme Billings, said: “The ongoing uncertainties around the outlook for the global economy are compounding the strong competitive pressures affecting manufacturing performance.

“Under these tough operating conditions an ongoing focus on cost control and increased operational efficiency is paramount to sustaining growth in profitability,” Mr Billings said.

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