The latest Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®) shows that the sector has expanded for three consecutive months for the first time since July 2010. The Australian PMI® increased by 0.4 points in September to 52.1 (readings above 50 indicate expansion in activity, the distance from 50 indicating the strength of the increase).
Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said: “In encouraging news for an economy searching for sources of growth outside mining, September saw the manufacturing sector consolidate on gains generated in recent months. The lower Australian dollar is a clear driver with local producers winning against imports in the domestic market and making further progress in export markets. Last month the Australian dollar was about 10 per cent lower than the average for the first half of the calendar year and against the Trade Weighted Index, the domestic currency was around 7 per cent lower in September.
The gains in the sector come despite continued weakness in two key manufacturing sub-sectors – metals, which is being buffeted by global demand/supply imbalances, and machinery and equipment, which despite areas of strong growth is battling the wind-down of automotive assembly and reduced orders from the mining sector,” Mr Willox said.