Manufacturing shrinks for fourth straight month

The country’s manufacturing sector has just experienced
its fourth straight month of contraction, according to the Australian Industry
Group’s PMI.

The monthly PMI survey recorded an overall result of
46.3 for March, an 0.9 point improvement on the previous month.

Any result under 50 in the PMI indicates contraction,
and above it expansion.

The only sub-index above 50 was exports (51.7, down 2.2
points). Exports were concentrated in the food and beverages sub-sector which
was down 0.7 points to 59.4).

Weak domestic demand continued to be a burden on the
industry.

The falling Australian dollar had been helpful for
exporters, but has presented a new set of challenges at the same time.

“The other side of the lower value of the currency is
that it is lifting prices for imported inputs and we expect it will take some
time for manufacturers to adjust the arrangements – including offshoring – they
put in place when the dollar was higher,” said Innes Willox, the Ai Group’s
Chief Executive.

For more, click here.

Image: AP