Australian manufacturing bounces back as shoppers stockpile
1 April 2020, Written by David Simmons
Shoppers stockpiling essential household goods has given the Australian manufacturing industry a welcome boost.
Demand for food, groceries and personal care items in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis has encouraged Australian manufacturers to increase production and fill holes left by import disruptions.
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI), a national composite index that indicates the health of the national manufacturing industry, jumped up by 9.4 points to 53.7 in March.
The rise ends four months of sector contraction, with the reading indicating an expansion in activity in the industry.
"Australian manufacturers are being impacted in very different ways by the COVID-19 outbreak," says Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox.
"Some are stepping up to meet surges in purchasing from consumers, businesses and the health sector. Others are finding that disrupted supply chains into export markets and from suppliers of inputs are reducing sales and stifling production."
The data should be read with the knowledge of how fast the situation has changed over the course of March according to Willox who says responses to the March survey recorded later in the month were more likely to be negative than those responses received earlier.
"With over 920,000 jobs at stake, and much of the sector critical to the supply of food, sanitisation and health needs and the infrastructure and supply chains that support them, every effort should be made to keep manufacturing businesses going for as long as they can operate safely," says Willox.
Key findings for March:
Business News Australia
Author: David Simmons