PMI leaps ahead in February

Australian manufacturing recorded a fifth consecutive month of growth in February, with the food sub-sector also expanding.

The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI), a key industry index, increased by 8.1 points to 59.3 in February. (Readings above 50 indicate expansion in the sector, while readings below 50 indicate contraction).

In all, six of the seven sub-indexes in the Australian PMI expanded.

The food, beverages and tobacco sub-sector increased by 1.8 points to 58.8 points in February. This was the largest expansion since May last year. It means that the sub-sector has now expanded continuously for over four years.

“With manufacturing production, employment, sales and exports all growing at a healthy pace, the Australian PMI rose to its highest level in nearly fifteen years in February. The period since 2002 has been particularly difficult for Australia’s manufacturers in the face of the phenomenal expansion of China’s manufacturing sector, extended periods of domestic currency strength and volatility in global confidence, activity and trade. So it’s great that Australia is making again,” said Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox.

“The surge in February builds on a recovery from the sluggish performance in the third quarter of last year and marks a fifth month of expansion. However, substantial challenges remain with further growth constrained by the lack of business investment in recent years and renewed fears about energy security and energy prices now top-of-mind particularly for our more energy-intensive manufacturers.”

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