Bloomberg Businessweek: Australian manufacturing contracted in January for a fifth straight month as measures of inventories, wages and supplier deliveries declined, a private survey showed.The manufacturing index was 46.7, compared with 46.3 in December, the Australian Industry Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a survey released in Canberra today. A number below 50 indicates contraction. Capacity utilization rose to 73.9 percent from 72.3 percent a month earlier, it showed.
The nation’s factories are lagging behind the mining industry, which is expanding to meet Chinese demand for raw materials and pushing the job market near a level the government views as full employment. The Australian currency’s 12 percent rise against the U.S. dollar in the past year has hurt export competitiveness. Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek.….
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