Australian PMI: Manufacturing recovery strengthens in February 2021

The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®) increased by 3.5 points to 58.8 in February 2021, with the stronger pace of recovery delivering the index’s highest monthly result since March 2018 (readings above 50 points indicate expansion in activity, with higher results indicating a faster rate of expansion).

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Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said: “Australia’s manufacturers lifted production and employment in February as sales recovered a large share of the ground lost in 2020. Growth was distributed broadly across manufacturing with particular strength among producers of machinery & equipment and chemical products. The building products sector saw a welcome return to growth on the back of strength in house building and renovations. The large food & beverage sector continued to expand while the metal products sector slipped lower in February. Manufacturers are generally positive about the outlook for the next few months with new orders coming in at a greater pace as restrictions on activity and cross-border travel are hopefully wound back,” Mr Willox said.

Australian PMI®: Key Findings for February 2021

  • Six of the seven activity indices in the Australian PMI® expanded in February 2021 (see table below), with only the stocks (inventories) index contracting (down 5.6 points to 48.0), perhaps because of buoyant sales in the month (up 15.7 points to 62.2). Production, sales, employment and new orders all improved from the December and January period, with the new orders index (up 5.3 points to 59.9) indicating further strong production in the coming months.
  • Five of the six manufacturing sectors in the Australian PMI® expanded in February (see table below), with only the metal products sector reporting mildly negative conditions (down 0.8 points to 48.7).
  • The input prices index jumped above its long-run average (67.4 points) to record its highest result since October 2019 (up 9.7 points to 74.1), indicating faster input price increases, on average, for manufacturers. Selling prices, meanwhile, increased only slightly (up 0.4 points to 51.2).
  • The average wages index returned to more normal levels in February (up 1.8 points to 58.2) after dropping sharply due to COVID-19 in 2020.

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Seasonally adjusted

Index this month

Change from last month

Long-run average

Trend

Index this month

Change from last month

Long-run average

Australian PMI®

58.8

3.5

50.6

Food & beverages

57.3

0.9

53.7

Production

65.8

8.9

51.3

Machinery & Equipment

64.1

1.5

49.9

Employment

57.8

2.7

48.9

Metals products

48.7

-0.8

47.2

New Orders

59.9

5.3

51.2

Petroleum, coal, chemicals & rubber products

63.8

1.1

51.4

Supplier Deliveries

53.2

-2.6

50.9

Building, wood, furniture & other

53.4

3.9

49.8

Finished Stocks

48.0

-5.6

49.6

Textiles, clothing, footwear, paper & printing

62.1

2.8

46.6

Exports

54.1

-7.3

50.0

Sales

62.2

15.7

49.1

Input prices

74.1

9.7

67.4

Selling prices

51.2

0.4

48.2

Average wages

58.2

1.8

58.6

Capacity utilisation (%)

77.8

-2.1

73.9

Results above 50 points indicate expansion. * All indexes for sectors in the Australian PMI® are reported in trend terms (Henderson 13-month filter).

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.