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By Sophia Rodrigues
     SYDNEY (MNI)  - Following are the five main observations we made from
Australian Industry Group's Performance of Manufacturing Index for September
published Monday:
     --The index rose in September, up 2.3 points to 59.0 to mark 24 straight
months of expansion and the longest since 2005. Like August, all seven activity
sub-indexes were in expansion in September, and five of the eight sub-sectors
expanded in trend terms. 
     --Employment sub-index rose 4.8 points to 58.1, indicating a faster rate of
growth in manufacturing employment. This sub-index has aligned well with the
official ABS data that showed strong gains in manufacturing employment over the
year to August, and is pointing to further gains.
     --New orders rose 3.0 points to 62.6 and to the highest level since March
2018. Such an elevated level of orders points to strong growth in the
manufacturing industry in the coming months.
     --Input prices rose 0.9 to 78.3 points, staying at the highest level since
March 2011. The depreciation in the Australian dollar and rise in oil prices are
some of the reasons for increase in input costs. Wages sub-index also rose and
while selling prices fell 1.9 points in September, it remained high at 56.2 and
signals prices increases are fairly widespread.
     --Food and beverages sub-index eased 0.7 point to 59.1 but remains the best
performing sector. New orders and exports remained strong but input prices were
also rising.
--MNI Sydney Bureau; tel: +61 2-9716-5467; email:
[TOPICS: MALDS$,M$A$$$,M$L$$$,MT$$$$]

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