Australian Manufacturing PMI Hits a Slump


Bloomberg—In recent news, the Australian Manufacturing PMI has indicated a concerning trend for the nation’s industry. As we hit October, the sector contracted, reaching a four-month low. For those new to the term, the PMI, or Purchasing Managers’ Index, measures the manufacturing sector’s health. A number above 50 indicates expansion, while below signals contraction.

Australian Manufacturing PMI Hits a Slump

This October, the Judo Bank Flash Australian Manufacturing PMI slightly decreased to 48.2 from September’s 48.7. This marks the continuation of an eight-month decrease in the manufacturing sector’s health—the lowest point since the middle of the year.

What’s driving this downturn? The steepest decline in new orders since May 2020 is a significant factor, reflecting weakened demand. As a result of the fall in new orders, production has taken a hit. Even as factories try to complete existing orders, the production rate has slowed considerably. This has led to tightening inventory levels—manufacturers don’t have as much stock as before.

Employment and Inflation Woes

On the employment front, the news isn’t much brighter. Job growth in the sector is at its most sluggish in three years, painting a grim picture for those looking for work in manufacturing. Adding to the industry’s challenges is the acceleration of input costs — the prices of materials needed to make products — which have soared to a seven-month high. This increase in expenses has inevitably led to higher selling prices for goods.

However, in an exciting turn, Australian manufacturers have slowly raised their selling prices. Why? The strategy is to share increased costs with clients to boost sales amid the declining demand.

Understanding the Australian Manufacturing PMI

The Australian Manufacturing PMI is an excellent real-world example of how various factors influence market conditions. It shows how demand and supply, production, and pricing strategies can impact an entire sector and, by extension, the economy.

  • 2023-10-31