AiG report: Australia manufacturing activity expands in July

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Sydney, Australia (4E) – Manufacturing activity in Australia bounced back in July for its first positive result in eight months, driven by improved performance in the food, beverages and tobacco segment, according to data from the Australian Industry Group released Friday.

The Ai Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) jumped 1.7 points to 50.7 last December. The gain was the first since last October that the index was above 50, which indicates a rise in activity.

Ai Group Chief Executive Officer Innes Willox said the rebound in activity came despite several challenges facing the manufacturing sector.

Mr. Willox said the high Australian dollar continues to provide pressure on exporters, and import-competing companies are facing low prices for locally made products as well as weak demand. Wages and input costs are also both on the rise, and much-needed investment into the sector is slowed by low margins, Mr. Willow said.

Among the eight manufacturing sub-sectors, only the food and beverages as well as the wood and paper products grew in July.

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