Australia’s Private Sector Logs Sharp Fall In May

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Australia’s private sector contracted substantially in May as ongoing measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus continued to hit demand, survey results from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.

The Commonwealth Bank services Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 26.9 in May from 19.5 in the previous month. However, a score below 50 indicates contraction.

Although the pace of contraction was slower than in April, the rate of decline was the second-fastest in the survey history.

The rate of decline in both activity and new orders eased in May. Moreover, business confidence improved markedly due to expectations of a further easing of containment measures.

The Commonwealth Bank composite output index came in at 28.1 versus 21.7 in the previous month. The score suggested a severe decrease in overall business activity.

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