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Australia Private Sector Output Deteriorates Further

Australia's private sector output declined sharply in March, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed on Tuesday.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia composite output index fell to 40.7 in March from 49.0 in February. A score below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

The flash services Purchasing Managers' Index decreased to 39.8 from 49.0 in the previous month.

The manufacturing PMI fell marginally to 50.1 in March from 50.2 a month ago. Nonetheless, the score signaled a marginal growth.

The sharp deterioration during March was led by the increasing impact of the coronavirus on the Australian economy, CBA chief economist, Michael Blythe said.

The services sector contracted due to the cancellation of events, general fears about social interaction and a very sharp decline in offshore demand as travel restrictions bite, while the manufacturing sector is faring a little better, Blythe added.

"The deterioration in supplier delivery times is accelerating, highlighting the disruption to supply chains and the lower Aussie dollar is pushing input prices up at a rapid rate" Blythe added.

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