Australian manufacturing returned to growth in October

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Australia’s manufacturing sector has returned to growth by a slim margin, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index.

In the index’s second straight monthly improvement, the PMI recorded a result of 50.9 for October, up from 49.8 in September.

By sub-index, exports led the way, up 6 points to 56.0. Sales improved by 3.6 to 55.0 points and new orders were up 6.4 points to 54.7.

Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox welcomed the result, saying that it was a positive, even though growth was only achieved through the “narrowest of margins” in October.

“… [G]rowth remains relatively narrowly based, with contractions in the important metal products and non-metallic minerals sub-sectors broadly offsetting expansions in the machinery & equipment and petroleum & chemicals sub-sectors while the largest manufacturing sub-sector – food & beverages – trod water in October,” said Willox in a statement.

“The manufacturing sector would welcome the boost to investment that a reduction in the company tax rate would provide – even if it was limited to businesses with annual turnovers of less than $50 million.”