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Manufacturing sector contracted in December

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According to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index, the sector finished 2013 in contraction, consistent with most of the year.

The monthly, seasonally-adjusted survey-based PMI has 50 as its midpoint separating growth and contraction, with a result under 50 showing the shrinkage.

"2013 ended without much cheer for many Australian manufacturers with the gains recorded in September and October reversed in the closing months of the year,” said Innes Willox, the Ai Group’s CEO.

The food and beverage sub-sector continued to outperform the rest of the industry, recording a result of 55.8.

AAP reported thatmanufacturing was not responding to the low interest rates and the weakening dollar.

“Conditions in the sector remain very tough,” said Willox.

“The sector, and indeed the broader economy, remains stuck behind the eight ball and manufacturing in particular is, as yet, in no position to assume a role in generating alternative sources of growth as the mining boom fades.”

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