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Australia manufacturing activity expands in May

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A measure of Australian manufacturing activity moved into expansionary territory for the first time in six months in May as a lower currency helped boost exports, while output, new orders and employment all grew.

[SYDNEY] A measure of Australian manufacturing activity moved into expansionary territory for the first time in six months in May as a lower currency helped boost exports, while output, new orders and employment all grew.

The Australian Industry Group's performance of manufacturing index (PMI) rose 4.3 points to 52.3 in May, taking it above the 50 level that is supposed to mark the threshold between contraction and expansion.

The survey's measures of exports jumped 10.9 points to 58.3 in May, the highest reading since March 2008.

The index of production gained 3.6 points, while new orders rose 5.4 points and employment 1.7 points to all be above the 50 threshold.

The survey has been persistently weaker than official measures of manufacturing, implying the sector has been deep in recession for almost all of the past five years.

REUTERS

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