Manufacturing News

Don’t count on a roaring manufacturing comeback, says economist

Manufacturing News

A prominent economist has predicted an overall positive year for business in Australia, but tips manufacturing to be the slowest growing sector coming out of the recession.

In an interview with the ABC, Deloitte Access Economics Partner Dr Chris Richardson said “The bigger the downturn, the bigger the recovery,” and was optimistic about 2021, provided vaccines were rolled out from next month and cross-border travel interruptions were minimal.

Manufacturing, however, had “weak underlying fundamentals” according to the economist, would not live up to hopes it would bounce back, and see sectoral damage typical of a recession. 

Richardson also said that while production might move out of China, it would not necessarily be reshored, and could instead move to destinations such as Indonesia and Vietnam.

“One difficulty many manufacturing businesses face is that even where the case for reshoring is strong, the domestic workforce cannot supply the engineering and technical expertise required,” Richardson told the ABC.

“Businesses that successfully exploit the onshoring opportunity are likely going to have to rely on automation technologies, dampening any boost to manufacturing employment.”


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