The manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in January, and at a faster rate, Markit Economics said in Friday's flash estimate with a PMI score of 57.2.
That's up from 55.7 in December and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
Individually, goods producers enjoyed the fastest expansions in both sales and production in over three years. In some cases, monitored firms suggested that pending 2020 projects had been authorized. There remained signs of export weakness, however, with new orders from abroad down for the fourth straight month.
The services PMI fell to 55.8 from 57.0 in December as firms recorded slower increases in both new orders and business activity. According to survey participants, growth was stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic and border restrictions.
The composite index came in at 56.0, up slightly from 55.6 a month earlier.