Australia Services PMI Improves To 48.6 In January - Judo Bank

The services sector in Australia continued to contract in January, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Judo Bank revealed on Friday with a services PMI score of 48.6.

That's up from 47.3 in December, although it remains beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Demand for Australia services returned to growth according to the latest data, rising for the first time since September 2022. Better international demand, as signaled by a rise in new export orders, and an upswing in client interests underpinned the increase in overall new orders. Anecdotal evidence also suggested that higher demand for Australian services from China supported the rise while sub sector data revealed that consumer services experienced the strongest growth in demand.

The survey also showed that the composite index rose to 48.5 in January from 47.5 in December.

Higher new orders, underpinned by service sector new business growth, also led to robust hiring activity in January. Furthermore, better business confidence at the start of 2023 also contributed to the expansion of workforce capacity in the private sector. Employment levels across both manufacturing and service sectors rose at solid rates.

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