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Manufacturing sees strong start to 2018

It’s one thing for Australian trailer manufacturers to feel like the manufacturing industry is improving, but seeing hard data to support this sentiment is something else entirely.

The Australian Performance Indices Manufacturing Index (PMI) closely monitors every manufacturing sector across the country to see if they are undergoing expansion or contraction over time. It’s a key package of data that economists and industry figures use to plan for growth in the future and find industry sub-sectors that are performing well.

The good news is that the manufacturing industry is booming. In fact, we’re in the biggest growth period seen since 2005, with a pattern of continual improvement seen in the last sixteen consecutive months. This buoyancy is found in all seven activity sub-indexes in the Australian PMI.

Such growth has been primarily attributed to the continued expansion of the local mining industry, which has a direct connection to manufacturing, particularly of interest to trailer manufacturers in Australia.

A key attribute for this growth, according to many participants in the Australian PMI, is a peak in new activity for manufacturers involved in large-scale infrastructure projects or mining.

In particular, two key areas of manufacturing drew attention to themselves with key growth indicators: metal products and heavy machinery.

Large metal products improved to 6.5 points above the 50 point median in January, an impressive result considering the sector’s recent slow patch followed by a buoyant recovery in early 2017. This was largely driven by fresh orders placed from the engineering, mining and defence industries.

Heavy machinery and equipment held steady at 55.9 points after a year of growth and new opportunities. The delivery of transport equipment such as trucks, buses and trams played a large part in this sector’s activities, as did the provision of specialist industrial machines like mining and agriculture equipment. This correlates to our own findings that truck sales continue to grow into 2018.

The Machinery and Equipment sector expressed concern about how difficult it was to find the required number of skilled staff to fill existing roles. We’ve recently discussed how the Manpower Group has found that manufacturing industry job prospects are brightening as we venture into 2018.

Interestingly, both of these sectors looked at energy costs as their most pressing concern for the future. Another item of concern is the unknown effect a changing Australian dollar will have on the global market, which can impact new export orders.

Production in general in the PMI is now in the strongest position it has been for a just under a year. New orders rose by 1.9 points, which is a way the market is showing that not only are new orders increasing, they are increasing at a faster rate than previously shown. This will have a positive knock-on effect on other areas of manufacturing later this year. Likewise, anticipation for early new year orders was shown in a sharp increase of supplier deliveries to 62.0 points in January.

Overall, the future of manufacturing in Australia is bright. As trailer manufacturers, this is great news to our ears, and to the companies, we are proud to support and supply across the country.

As the premier trailer manufacturers in Brisbane, Drake Trailers are ready to help your company move forward into the future. Contact us today to find out more.


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