Australia’s private sector activity expanded in May underpinned by both services and manufacturing sectors, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia flash composite output index rose to 52.2 in May from 50.0 in April. Any readings above 50.0 signal growth in the sector.
Business activity rose for the first time in four months in May with pick-up in new order growth. New orders increased at the fastest pace since January.
Staffing increased at the fastest rate in May after decreasing in the previous month. On the price front, both input costs and output prices rose at sharper rates in May.
Business confidence improved for the second month and confidence in both the manufacturing and service sectors were higher.
The services Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, rose to 52.3 in May from 50.1 a month ago.
Likewise, the manufacturing PMI climbed to 51.1 in May from 50.9 in the prior month.
“There is scope for the PMIs to push even higher over coming months from the expected RBA rate cuts, in combination with the personal income tax relief announced in the 2019/20 Budget” CBA Senior Economist, Belinda Allen, said.