Australian manufacturing mood lifts following election, survey finds

Manufacturing optimism has picked up following the election, but an overall loss of momentum beginning mid-2018 persists, according to the long-running Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends.

The survey of 240 manufacturers found 28 per cent of them expected business to improve compared to 12 per cent when the survey was taken last quarter, AAP reports. Those expecting orders to rise had also picked up, with 36 per cent of respondents compared to 25 per cent in the March quarter. The responses were given between May 20 and June 6, following the May 18 federal election.
The survey’s composite index declined slightly over the quarter, from 61.8 to 61.5. This “remains at a positive level but suggests that the loss in momentum from mid-2018 has persisted into mid-2019.”
Though the reading wasn’t weak, “conditions over the first half of 2019 were the softest since late 2016,” said Andrew Hanlan, Westpac senior economist.
Another recent survey of industrial sentiment, Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index for May, showed the sector in expansion, but not spectacularly so.

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