ACCI-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends: Manufacturing conditions slump to historic low

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Abstract of media release produced by the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Australian Chamber-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends: Manufacturing conditions slump to historic low

Conditions in Australia’s manufacturing sector are the lowest they’ve been since the Australian Chamber-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends was founded 54 years ago.

The survey’s Actual Composite Index, which indicates business confidence, fell to 24 in the June quarter, the lowest measured since 1966. The index dropped sharply from 45.in March and 53 in December 2019.

“The results coming from our joint survey, the oldest of its kind in the country, are very sobering,” ACCI CEO James Pearson said.

“The survey confirms that the COVID-19 global pandemic and measures to combat the virus have had a dramatic impact on the manufacturing sector.

“The historic low underlines the need to help get businesses back on their feet and people back into jobs as soon as it is safe to do so, by easing COVID-19 restrictions and reversing falling demand.”

As a direct result of the shutdown of many sectors of the economy, output (net production) was down sharply to – 55 per cent, from – 2 per cent in the previous quarter, and capacity utilisation also slipped further to -70 per cent, from -21 per cent in March quarter. Similarly, demand (new orders) was also down severely to -64 per cent, from -9 per cent in the March quarter.

The survey’s Labour Market Composite also showed a significant slowing in jobs growth across the economy, with the index dropping sharply, from 45 to 27.

The full report can be found on the Australian Chamber website.