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Financial News: Australia's Service Sector Contracts On Renewed Covid-19 M

Australia's Service Sector Contracts On Renewed Covid-19 Measures

09/03/2020 - 00:59:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's service sector returned to contraction zone in August amid lockdown measures reimposed in Victoria following a surge in new Covid-19 infections, final survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

The Commonwealth Bank final services Purchasing Managers' index fell to 49.0 from 58.2 in July. The flash reading was 48.1.

Demand was adversely impacted, with new business inflows falling after two months of growth. Consequently, job shedding intensified and the fall was the fastest in three months.

Input costs rose further driven by supplier price hikes, increased logistic fees, greater fuel costs and higher salaries. Firms raised their selling prices but greater competition constrained the extent to which charges can be increased.

Finally, longer-term prospects remained positive, although confidence slipped from July.

The composite output index that combines the performance of both manufacturing and services sectors declined to 49.4 from 57.8 in July. This was above the flash reading of 48.8.

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