If retailers think they are doing it tough they should spare a thought for the poor old manufacturer. The Australian Industry Group — PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index also out this morning show manufacturing industry continued to deteriorate in March although the rate of decline eased slightly.
The closest the Index came to showing good news was that activity declined more slowly in March in the construction materials and food & beverages sectors. The former may reflect the impact of the Federal Government’s higher first homebuyer grants and lower mortgage interest rates on housing demand and solid infrastructure spending. The ABS Building Approval figures today showed the seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwelling units approved rose 7.8%, the first rise since June 2008.