Australia’s Manufacturing sector strengthens with the most applied for jobs in 2018 being in the manufacturing, transport and logistics industry. The figures, released in February 2019 by SEEK AUSTRALIA show the manufacturing sector took out the number one spot in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

This is supported by the Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) recovering by 2.5 points to 52.5 in January 2019. This indicates that manufacturing conditions turned mildly positive again in January, after a flat result in December 2018 ended 26 months of continuous expansion (readings above 50 points indicate expansion in activity, with the distance from 50 indicating the strength of the increase).

Australian PMI: Key Findings for January 2019:

  • The Australian PMI returned above the critical 50-points threshold that separates expansion from contraction in January, rising by 2.5 points to 52.5, after December’s flat result had ended a 26-month period of expansion – the longest such run since 2005.
  • Six of the seven activity indexes in the Australian PMI indicated expansion in January (see table below), but they have been trending down on average since Q3 2018. New orders improved by 2.0 points to 52.3 while the production index recovered from December’s mild contraction (up 4.9 points to 54.0). Supplier deliveries rose 6.2 points to 55.6, but finished stocks (inventories) were depleted in order to meet new year demand (down 7.8 points to 47.7).
  • Three of the six manufacturing sectors expanded in January with the largest sector, food and beverages, continuing to perform well, albeit a touch slower (down 1.0 point to 54.2). Machinery & equipment (down 0.1 point to 50.9) and metal products (down 0.2 point to 50.8) were broadly flat, while the chemicals sector experienced a mild contraction (down 1.3 points to 49.3).
  • The input prices index fell by 2.9 points to 70.3 in January. It remains relatively elevated as energy-intensive sectors continue to report problems with high gas and electricity prices. Meanwhile, the selling prices index returned to stability (up 5.6 points to 50.2) after price falls in December. Margins remain tight as manufacturers have been unable to pass on their rising input costs to customers.

With our Steel Efficiency Review® visits we have uncovered how businesses in manufacturing environments are adapting and transitioning for the future. Our customers’ attitudes towards technology, production and talent have evolved and we aim to fully support their journey. The Steel Efficiency Review® provides this approach. We ask questions and listen. Our “Key Findings” are backed by evidence gathered during our review process. We then qualify these key findings and ask questions to uncover underlying causes.

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