3 Jun 2013

Australian manufacturing shrinkage continues

12:19 pm on 3 June 2013

The manufacturing sector in Australia continued to decline in May, though the rate of contraction slowed.

AAP reports the sector contracted for the 23rd consecutive month.

According to the Australian Industry Group's Performance of Manufacturing Index, the sector shrank at a slower pace in May, compared to a sharp contraction recorded in April.

A recent fall in the Australian dollar would help the sector, Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said.

"(It) will provide breathing space for many exporters and will help lift confidence," he said.

"However, ... there will need to be sustained falls if we are to see a real impact on import-competing manufacturers and exporters."

AAP reprots none of the sub-sectors covered by the index recorded an expansion in May, with metal products producers and food, beverage and tobacco product producers among the weakest.

The PMI rose 7.1 points to an index level of 43.8 in May. A reading level of below 50 indicates the sector contracted in the month and the lower the reading, the greater the rate of contraction.