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Take part in the Australian Performance Indices Manufacturing Index Survey

As one of Australia’s most trusted and longest-running trailer manufacturers, The Drake Group has always kept a keen eye on what is happening in the local transport industry. With 60 years’ experience, we have seen the shape of business change with the times and look forward to seeing what happens next.

To that end, we take a keen interest in the Australian Performance Indices Manufacturing Index (PMI). It’s the monthly result of a nationwide survey that manufacturers across all industries take. The PMI closely monitors different manufacturing sectors in Australia and, in particular, if they’re going through a period of growth or contraction in key ways. It’s vital data that economists and industry figures use to plan future hiring on, find industry sub-sectors that are performing well, and show trends that can impact business.

We’ve talked recently about how 2018 is already starting off strong according to the PMI, and we’re already looking forward to seeing the results of the next survey. To that end, the survey is open for entry again and manufacturing companies, including Australian trailer manufacturers, are once again invited to take part.

The April 2018 Results

LEVEL: 58.3

The Manufacturing Index for April 2018 key findings are:

The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®) fell 4.8 points to 58.3 points in April, indicating a slower – but still resilient – rate of expansion in April, after reaching a record high in March (seasonally adjusted).  The results above 50 points indicate expansion with higher results indicating a stronger expansion.

April 2018 is marked the nineteenth month of expanding or stable conditions for the Australian PMI® and the longest run of continuous expansion since 2005.

Five of the seven activity sub-indexes in the Australian PMI® indicated expansion in April, but at a slower pace than during March.

New orders, production and sales remained above 60 points, indicating a healthy demand and a strong probability of further near-term growth. The exports sub-index contracted mildly, indicating a pause in exports. Employment decelerated and stock levels (inventories) were stable.

Six of the eight sub-sectors in the Australian PMI® expanded and two contracted in April (trend). Four of the eight sub-sectors reached record highs in trend terms, including the petroleum, coal, chemical and rubber products; metal products; machinery and equipment and the textiles, clothing and other sub-sectors. Weaker conditions remain evident in the relatively smaller wood and paper and printing and recording media sub-sectors.

Asides from high energy costs (which continue to eat into margins), the manufacturing conditions remain positive on the east coast of Australia. Manufacturers in NSW and Victoria continue to report strong demand because of higher levels of activity in the civil engineering (mainly transport projects), commercial building and residential construction industries.

You can read the full report online. The next release will be on 1 June 2018.

The PMI survey

The survey takes no more than a minute to complete and will go towards helping all manufacturing industries across Australia what is happening and, vitally, how to prepare for the future.

All that is required is to indicate which of the following are experiencing growth or reduction (if any) over the past 30 days compared to the month before: Production Levels, Employment Levels, New Orders, Exports (If Applicable), Stocks of Finished Products, Deliveries of Raw Materials, Cost of Raw Materials, Sales Levels, Average Selling Prices and Average Wages. It does not need to know the exact numbers or percentages of growth or reduction, just that there was some in that period.

It also asks simple but fundamental questions such as “What percentage of your capacity is currently in use?” and “What have been the major influences on business activity in your firm over the past month?” to add context to the main survey question results.

These survey results are collated against particular industries and published by The Australian Industry Group so everyone can make informed decisions over the coming months. For example, a growth in semi-trailer manufacturing could be seen as a reason for truck manufacturers to start putting people on. As seen recently, a boom in the mining economy means good news for the manufacturing industry as a whole.

The Drake Group are proud to be an Australian trailer manufacturer, and we encourage all local manufacturing business owners to take a minute to answer the survey themselves. To find out what The Drake Group can do to keep your business moving, contact us today.


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