The Westpac-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Survey of Industrial Trends shows that confidence in manufacturing is down for the first quarter of the year, though the sector has seen an improvement in employment data.
AAP reports that the composite index was down 5.4 points for the quarter to 50.9. The previous quarter’s result followed the September federal election.
Calling the results a “little bit disturbing”, ACCI economist Burchell Wilson said, “If actual conditions continue to disappoint expectations, we may see a further correction in the year ahead."
However, the survey found that there was a second straight quarter of positive results for employment.
“It would appear from firms' employment responses that manufacturers have significantly reduced job shedding,” notes the report.
Australian Bureau of Statistics job data has also suggested that there’s been an improvement in manufacturing employment.
The ABC reports that manufacturing jobs have increased by 13,900 for the three months to February to 949,700. This is up from the lowest point in employment for the sector, 911,500, recorded in the quarter to August last year.
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