Australian manufacturers to reinforce strong start to year

Australian manufacturing has picked up where it left off last year after recording an accelerated rate of growth following a promising end to 2017.

The industry moved past 16 months of consecutive expansion at the end of January, according to the Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

For the third consecutive month all seven activity sub-indexes in the Australian PMI expanded, with six accelerating their pace of growth.

The increase in production was once again led by Australia’s food and beverage industry, complimented by growth in petroleum, coal and chemical sectors, which have all recorded their highest monthly results in almost a decade.

“Australia’s manufacturing industry enjoyed a strong start to the year and added to the longest manufacturing expansion in more than a decade,” said Innes Willox, CEO for the Australian Industry (Ai) Group.

“While production and sales volumes were robust and employment also grew, the combination of cost pressures – notably energy costs – and strong competition in part due to the recent rise in the value of the Australian dollar, continued to keep margins tight and restrain wage rises.

“Now is the opportunity for policy makers to reinforce the optimistic start to the year to secure further investment and employment gains in 2018.”

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