SYDNEY, Dec 1 (Reuters) - A measure of Australian manufacturing activity inched into expansionary territory in November as sales, new orders and deliveries all improved even as firms continued to complain of intense import competition.
The Australian Industry Group’s performance of manufacturing index (PMI) rose 0.7 points to 50.1 in November, just above the 50 level that is supposed to mark the threshold between contraction and expansion.
“The lower Australian dollar, an easing in energy costs, moderate wages growth and relatively low interest rates are all helping to underpin the sector’s performance,” said Innes Willox, AIG chief executive.
“Demand for locally made inputs and components flowing from stronger residential construction activity is also a positive for the sector.”
The survey has been persistently weaker than official measures of manufacturing, implying the sector has been deep in recession for almost all of the past five years. (Reporting by Wayne Cole)