The manufacturing sector in Australia climbed back into expansion in March, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed on Wednesday with a seasonally adjusted Performance of Manufacturing Index score of 53.7.
That’s up sharply from 44.3 in February, and it moves back above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction after four months under water.
The move to expansion – which AiG calls surprising amidst the Covid-19 outbreak – is almost entirely due to a huge surge in demand for manufactured food, groceries and personal care items, as shoppers stock up on processed food, toilet paper, cleaning products and other household essentials.
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