While it may not be in terms of size — far from from it — Australia’s manufacturing sector grew faster than any other nation in September.
At 52.1 activity expanded at the fastest pace since May and accelerated from the 51.7 level of August.
Japan and India, at 51.0 and 51.2 respectively, were the only other nations to record an expansion in activity, although both were slower than what was previously seen in August.
Elsewhere activity contracted in all other nations. Small improvements were recorded in South Korea (47.9, +1.3), China (49.8, +0.1), Taiwan (46.9, +0.8) and Malaysia (48.3, +1.1), while activity levels contracted at a faster pace in Indonesia (47.4, -1.0) and Vietnam (49.5, -1.8).
While PMI reports measure changes in activity levels, not the actual size of the industry or output, few would have predicted that Australia would be in this position given the negativity surrounding the sector seen in recent years.