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Year’s strong start continues, manufacturing jobs expected to increase: industrial survey

The positive start to the year for manufacturers has continued, according to the Australian Chamber-Westpac industrial trends survey, released yesterday.

AAP reports that manufacturing strengthened for the March quarter in a range of areas, including new orders, output and employment. This continued from a strong end to 2015.

“The Westpac-AusChamber Actual Composite index strengthened in the March quarter to 61.4, up 7.1 points, from 54.3 in December and from 56.4 on average in 2015,” Andrew Hanlon, Westpac senior economist, said in a statement.

The dollar’s weakness against the US currency since mid-2014 and an increase in new home construction as well as renovations had helped.

“Expectations are positive. The Expected Composite index, despite edging one point lower, is elevated at 58.8, with firms’ anticipation a rise in new orders and output,” Hanlon added.

“Firms plan to respond to this strength by expanding their workforce, as well as increased overtime.”

The result is consistent with the Australian Industry Group’s monthly PMI survey, which has registered eight consecutive results indicating overall expansion.

To read the results on the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s website, click here.

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