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Financial News: Australia's Private Sector Falls Back Into Contraction Ter

Australia's Private Sector Falls Back Into Contraction Territory

08/21/2020 - 01:24:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's private sector contracted in August due to the re-imposition of coronavirus disease containment measures in parts of the country, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Friday.

The Commonwealth composite output index fell to 48.8 in August from 57.8 in July. A score below 50 indicates contraction. New order inflows dropped after two months of growth while employment contracted at a steeper rate. Inflationary pressures intensified in August. Business confidence weakened slightly, but remained positive overall as firms continued to expect further recovery from the Covid-19 downturn over the coming twelve months.

The overall reduction in operations contrasted with two months of solid growth. The survey showed that trends diverged between services and manufacturing sectors.

The downturn in overall activity was primarily driven by the service sector, as manufacturing output continued to rise. The services Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 48.1 from 58.2 in July.

At the same time, the manufacturing PMI fell marginally to 53.9 in August from 54.0 a month ago.

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