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[SYDNEY] A measure of Australian manufacturing activity fell back in February as firms complained of weak domestic demand even as a lower local dollar boosted exports.
The Australian Industry Group's performance of manufacturing index (PMI) fell 3.6 points to 45.4 in February, below the 50 level that is supposed to mark the threshold between contraction and expansion.
The survey's measures of sales, output and employment all slipped in the month, though the index for exports showed a third straight month of expansion.
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.