The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®) fell by 6.1 points to 52.4 in May, indicating a weaker pace of expansion and halting three months of consistent acceleration (readings above 50 points indicate expansion in activity, with higher results indicating a faster rate of expansion).

Innes Willox, Chief Executive of Ai Group the national employer association said: "Manufacturers continue to report supply constraints and labour shortages as the leading sources of concern and they reported still higher input costs and a lift in wages growth in May. There are mixed messages about the immediate outlook with new orders continuing to rise but with many manufacturers expressing concern about the prospects of sharp energy price rises in the months ahead. Overall, the pace of growth in the manufacturing sector eased in May fuelled by falls in exports and domestic sales. Employment returned to growth and production was up on the previous month although the pace of output growth eased. Sector-wide performance was led by an acceleration of growth in the metal products group with chemicals and machinery & equipment producers continuing to expand although at slower rates. Building materials producers reported flat conditions while the large food & beverage group eased back into a mild contraction," Mr Willox said.

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Australian PMI®: Key Findings for May 2022

  • Manufacturing post-COVID recovery slowed down in May. While most subsectors remain in an expansionary phase, rates are lower than in recent months.
  • Most manufacturing activity indicators including production, employment and new orders remained expansionary, while sales, exports and supplier deliveries fell into contraction.
  • Labour challenges and supply chain disruptions remain the major structural constraints on manufacturing. Input prices and wages both rose further, to mark the highest readings in the Australian PMI® series.
  • In May, Federal election uncertainty, poor weather and labour market issues hampered manufacturing recovery. Demand from the agriculture and resource sectors contributed to stability.

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Seasonally adjusted Index this month Change from last month Long-run average
Australian PMI® 52.4 -6.1 50.9
Production 52.3 -5.4 51.6
Employment 50.2 3.1 49.2
New Orders 55.0 -9.8 51.7
Supplier Deliveries 48.0 -12.4 50.8
Finished Stocks 55.7 -5.5 50.0
Exports 42.9 -4.8 50.0
Sales 47.6 -8.8 49.7
Input prices 86.5 2.1 68.2
Selling prices 65.7 -6.5 49.8
Average wages 74.8 7.9 59.1
Capacity utilisation (%) 75.9 -3.7 74.5
Seasonally adjusted Index this month Change from last month Long-run average
Food & Beverages 47.5 -5.7 53.6
Machinery & Equipment 52.0 -0.6 50.5
Metals products 56.9 3.1 47.7
Petroleum, coal, chemicals & rubber products 54.0 -9.8 51.8
Building, wood, furniture & other 50.3 -20.3 50.3
Textiles, clothing, footwear, paper & printing 48.0 6.2 48.8

Results above 50 points indicate expansion. All indexes for sectors in the Australia PMI® are reported in seasonally adjusted terms. 

Background: The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®) is a national composite index calculated from a weighted mix of the diffusion indices for production, new orders, deliveries, inventories and employment. An Australian PMI® reading above 50 points indicates that manufacturing activity is expanding; below 50, that it is declining. The distance from 50 indicates the strength of expansion or decline. Australian PMI® results are based on responses from a national sample of manufacturers that includes all states and all sub-sectors. The Australian PMI® uses the ANZSIC industry classifications for manufacturing sub-sectors and sub-sector weights derived from ABS industry output data. Seasonally adjusted and trend data are calculated according to ABS methodology. The Australian PMI® commenced in 1992. More information about the history and methodology of the Australian PMI® is available online.

Full list of 2022 Australian PMI® release dates.

Media Enquiries: Tony Melville: 0419 190 347