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Australia fundamentals deteriorate rapidly as evidenced by a collapse in the PMI Manufacturing Index in April.
• Manufacturing activity contracted significantly in April as conditions weakened amid a strong Australian dollar, intense import competition, high energy costs and weak local confidence.
• The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®) fell 7.7 points to 36.7 on a seasonally adjusted basis. (Readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity with the distance from 50 indicative of the strength of the decrease.)
• This is the lowest level the Australian PMI® has recorded since May 2009, with many of the key sub-indexes also dropping to levels not seen since 2009. The three-month moving average in April fell to 42.2 points from 43.4 points in March.
• Contractions in activity were recorded in seven out of the eight manufacturing sub-sectors. Significant contractions were recorded in food, beverage & tobacco products; printing & recorded media; non-metallic mineral products; metal products; and machinery & equipment.
• Sharp declines in production, new orders and employment were recorded in April, while finished stocks and deliveries declined as well, albeit at a more moderate pace.
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