Manufacturing firms struggle in July, PwC study shows

Manufacturing activity declined significantly across Australia in July, new figures compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have confirmed.

The organisation's Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index was down by 6.9 points to 40.3 during the month, which highlighted a considerable downturn in production.

Companies in this sector are struggling badly at the moment, as the strong Aussie dollar is making trading conditions very difficult.

A recent study by National Australia Bank found that levels of corporate confidence were down in the second quarter of 2012 and this is making firms increasingly wary of taking on business loans, Bloomberg reports.

PwC representatives confirmed that the July results represent a three-year low in the industry and this is hugely concerning.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox believes that further falls in overall activity are likely in the coming months.

"The industry is experiencing substantial pressures driven by the strong dollar, cost increases, slow growth in domestic demand and competition from lower cost sources of production," he remarked.

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