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Australia manufacturing accelerates in October as services slow: survey

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Australian businesses were keen to take on more workers early in October as manufacturing expanded at a faster pace while activity in services eased a little, a survey reported on Wednesday.

[SYDNEY] Australian businesses were keen to take on more workers early in October as manufacturing expanded at a faster pace while activity in services eased a little, a survey reported on Wednesday.

The Commonwealth Bank/Markit flash manufacturing PMI picked up to 54.3 this month, from a final 54.0 in September, led by growth in its employment index.

That was offset by a drop in the services PMI to 50.8, from 52.2 in September, the lowest reading since the survey began in May 2016. Firms still reported strong growth in jobs, however.

With services a much larger share of the economy than manufacturing, the flash composite PMI eased to 51.5, from 52.5 in September.

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Market voices on:

"The manufacturing and services sectors appear to be on a diverging path in the early part of Q4," said CBA chief economist Michael Blythe.

"Both sectors are reporting strong jobs growth, however. And new orders continue to lift," he added. "The outlook for the remainder of 2018 is still positive."

REUTERS