Two positive announcements concerning Australia’s manufacturing sector. With some industry experts saying we are almost back at pre-GFC levels.
The Ai Group’s PMI measure eight main manufacturing sectors across the nation every month. It gives them a score. Below 50 means the sector is in retraction. Above 50 is in growth mode.
The latest announcement is that Australian manufacturing is at 55 points which is the 9th month in a row that it has scored over 50. Of the eight sectors, only one (textiles & clothing) didn’t perform.
Wood and paper products strengthened further (65.3 points), as did printing & recorded media (61.2 points) and machinery and equipment (60.1 points). Expansions in petroleum, coal and chemical products (54.1 points), non-metallic mineral products (58.8 points), food and beverages (56.9 points) and metal products (59.0 points) continued in June.
New orders strengthened to 59.5 points and sales surged to 60.9.
At the same time, manufacturing has seen its biggest employment growth in a decade. A report entitled “Manufacturing: A moment of opportunity” said that over the past year manufacturing jobs have increased by 40,000.
The Bureau of Statistics said that manufacturing recorded the second-biggest growth in employment of any Australian industry. The biggest growth area (which doesn’t contribute to our engineering-manufacturing capabilities) was public administration.
Furthermore, the value of Australian-made products sold to international markets has increased from $80 billion in 2009 to a record high of more than $100 billion in the past year.
The report argued that the leaders of all political parties need to re-commit to manufacturing, and give the sector greater priority in economic policy-making.