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Financial News: Australia Private Sector Contracts For First Time Since

Australia Private Sector Contracts For First Time Since March

08/22/2019 - 02:03:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's private sector contracted for the first time in five months in August reflecting the weakness in the service sector, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia flash composite output index fell to 49.5 in August from 52.1 in July. Any score below 50 indicates contraction.

New orders declined marginally in August and employment increased slightly leading to a reduction in backlogs of work.

On the price front, input cost inflation fell in August. Competitive pressures limited pricing power, with both sectors reporting a slowdown in output price inflation.

Despite the weakness in output and new orders, business sentiment rose to the highest seen since February.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 49.2 from 52.3 a month ago. At the same time, the factory PMI decreased to 51.3 in August from 51.6 in the previous month.

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