Stars align as Australian manufacturers record strongest month since 2002

Stars align as Australian manufacturers record strongest month since 2002

Stars align as Australian manufacturers record strongest month since 2002

IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index for manufacturing, which accounts for about a fifth of the German economy, rebounded to 59.3 in August - the third-highest reading since April 2011 - from July's five-month-low of 58.1.

"The manufacturing sector appears to be on track to contribute towards an upswing in GDP growth in 2017", IHS Markit economist Sam Teague, said.

Production advanced at the steepest pace in seven months in August, driven by faster intakes of new work received.

Domestic demand was also strong, she said.

Manufacturing output declined to 54.3 from 56.3, though some survey respondents reported having a greater number of projects in the pipeline.

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Although the rate of improvement in foreign demand eased from July's near-record high, it remained among the strongest seen since new export orders data were first collected in January 1996.

China's factory activity gathered steam in August, official data showed on Thursday, beating expectations, but not dispelling concerns about the headwinds facing the world's second largest economy.

The manufacturing sector slumped to its lowest level in July - its lowest mark since February 2009 - dragged down by disruptions to business activity following the introduction of GST. The pick-up in new business was generally more modest than in China, however, suggesting its economic growth may moderate from an eye-popping 4% annualized rate in the second quarter. Still, the PMI report showed input costs rising due to higher prices for energy, fuel and metals.

India's services sector also gathered steam in the latest quarter and capital investments also bounced back from contraction in the March quarter.

Taiwan's manufacturing survey saw the fastest growth in four months, while South Korea's exports beat expectations and posted their longest run of growth in nearly six years. The rate of job creation was the highest in three years.

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