Moderate growth for industry in November

ACTIVITY in Australia’s manufacturing industry grew moderately in November with the Australian Industry Group - PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) rising 0.5 points to 53.8 (still above the key 50.0 level separating expansion from contraction).

ACTIVITY in Australia’s manufacturing industry grew moderately in November with the Australian Industry Group – PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) rising 0.5 points to 53.8 (still above the key 50.0 level separating expansion from contraction).

Ai Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, said the rise in the Australian PMI in November continues the modest growth path for manufacturing over the past 18 months.

“Cost and competitive pressures and the high dollar, however, continue to weigh on performance in the sector. This makes the efforts to lift productivity by both the industry and the new Government critical to a sustainable manufacturing sector in the long-term,” Ridout said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Leader of Industrial Manufacturing, Graeme Billings, said the Australian PMI for November shows that manufacturing is continuing to grow moderately under strong pressure from the exchange rate and international competition.

“The competitive pressure which the sector is experiencing, places a premium on management focus on cost management and productivity enhancement.

“Companies need to continue their focus on innovation across their entire operations to ensure they are as efficient and effective as possible. Continued investment in people will play a major role going forward,” Billings said.

Key findings for November were:

· The Australian PMI rose 0.5 points to 53.8 in November, the 18th consecutive month of growth.

· The lift in activity reflected the third month of consecutive improvement in new orders, while stocks and deliveries also made modest gains.

· Production and employment growth eased.

· Growth in input costs and selling prices rose in November.

· Wages growth was moderate, while capacity utilisation rose slightly.

· Exports growth became positive.

· Activity expanded in six sectors in November, down from nine in October.

· Manufacturers cited solid domestic and international demand conditions as a key positive influence.

· The higher Australian dollar, skills shortages, weather and Chinese demand and competition persisted as the key negative factors in the business environment.

· Manufacturing activity grew in Queensland and Tasmania, eased in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, while South Australia saw a decline.