A slowdown in Australia's manufacturing industry worsened in April, with activity in the sector contracting at the fastest rate in four years.
The Australian Industry Group Performance of Manufacturing Index showed the manufacturing sector in April recorded its largest slowdown since May 2009.
Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said the high Australian dollar, unit labour costs and energy prices were hurting the sector.
The sector has now been contracting for 22 consecutive months, according to the index.
AAP reports the Ai Group index fell 7.7 points to 36.7 in April.
An index level below 50 indicates the sector is contracting, and the lower the reading, the faster the slowdown in activity.