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Chemicals, petroleum and coal manufacturing rose in September

The chemicals, petroleum and coal products sectors recorded significant rises in activity in September 2009, and the entire manufacturing industry gained momentum after various months of decline, according to the latest Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally-adjusted Australian PMI — which is conducted by Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) and Pricewaterhouse Coopers — rose slightly in September by 0.3 points to 52.0, which represents its highest level since December 2007.

The “continuing modest growth” during the month was driven by rises in production, inventories and supplier deliveries, according to the PMI.

Plus, employment in the manufacturing sector came close to stabilising, flowing a long 20 months of decline.

Seven manufacturing sub-sectors grew in September, compared with six in August 2009, and four in July 2009. The chemicals, petroleum and coal products, and printing and publishing sectors recorded significant rises in activity in September, while the food and beverages, fabricated metal products, and transport equipment sectors saw more modest increases.

Ai Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, said, “While the continuing modest growth is welcome news the improvement in conditions remains tentative with new orders growth easing back significantly in September following a solid lift in August.”

According to Ridout, the September Australian PMI result underlines the importance of the monetary and fiscal stimulus to industry.

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