AusBN – Australia’s manufacturing industry grew for a sixth consecutive month in December, marking the longest unbroken run of growth since 2010.
The Australian Industry (Ai) Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index slipped by 0.6 points to 51.9, but in staying above 50 this indicates expansion.
Peter Burn, Ai Group’s head of policy, said the result was “encouraging” but that it will still take some time for the sector to recover fully.
Manufacturing sectors including food, rubber, wood and paper products expanded, but these gains were somewhat offset by a continuing slowdown in mining and infrastructure projects.
“We pay wages which are comparable to say Germany, which has a very strong manufacturing sector, and we have looked for gains in productivity that underwrite those high wages and allow us to be competitive at these wages,” Burn added.
“These investments in innovation take a long time to bear fruit but we’re starting now. It is very encouraging and it is quite critical not just to manufacturing, but a whole range of activities in our economy.”