Manufacturing booming, sees best PMI result in three years

Manufacturing achieved its seventh straight month of growth in April, and its quickest rate of expansion in three years, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index.

The overall PMI result of 61.7 was up 1.8 points in April. As with the month before, all six sectors tracked in the survey recorded a result above 50.

All seven activity indices were also above 50. Any result above 50 indicates expansion, and below it contraction.

The PMI of 61.7 was the third-highest rate of growth ever since the PMI moved to monthly publication in 2001.

Capacity utilisation was at its highest level on record, which the Ai Group said suggested “employment and/or investment may need to step up in order to facilitate further growth from here.”

The end of the Jobkeeper wage subsidy on March 28 had apparently not dampened the recovery from the worst economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The sector as a whole had not been adversely affected by the stronger Australian dollar, Innes Willox, chief executive of the Ai Group, told AAP, though a number of businesses are closely watching the currency.

“That said, the further expansion of new orders in April is an encouraging pointer to continuing positive conditions over the next couple of months,” added Willox.


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