The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australia’s largest and most representative business network, has surveyed a broad cross-section of our membership to assess the impact of COVID-19 on business and to gauge the effectiveness of the Government’s support and stimulus measures in helping businesses through the crisis. The survey was undertaken between 30 March and 17 April and involved 1,497 businesses across all states and territories. We would like to acknowledge the assistance of our states and territories chamber associates and industry association members for their assistance in developing and distributing the survey through their membership networks.
The Australian Chamber–Westpac Survey of Industrial trends, Australia’s longest running business survey dating from 1966, provides a timely update on manufacturing and insights into economy-wide trends.
The Westpac–AusChamber Actual Composite index declined to 61.5 in June from 61.8 in March. The Composite remains at a positive level but suggests that the loss in momentum from mid-2018 has persisted into mid-2019.
The reading for the Composite index is supported by rising output, albeit at a slower pace; new orders; backlog; and overtime. However, employment levels stagnated over the past three quarters. The Australian economy has slowed to an annual growth pace of 1.8%, the softest result since the time of the GFC – September 2009. Private demand is contracting but this is being offset by solid public spending.