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Manufactured exports weakest in history.

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Senator Kate Lundy Shadow Minister for Manufacturing and Consumer Affairs Senator for the Australian Capital Territory

Wednesday 15 June 2005

Manufactured exports weakest in history

The Howard Government continues to ignore the precarious state of Australian manufacturing as the decline in manufacturing performance continues, according to the Quarterly Survey of Australian Manufacturing released today by the Australian Industry Group (AIG).

The survey results showed that Australian manufacturing in the June quarter experienced the slowest growth for 4 years. Production growth has slowed and growth has weakened in sales and new orders.

Worryingly the survey results conclude that there is no relief in sight as it predicts activity to weaken even further in the September quarter.

AIG Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, has drawn attention to the disastrous state of manufactured exports as the survey found that eleven out of the twelve sectors are experiencing decline.

The three month outlook for manufactured exports is the weakest in the history of the AIG survey (since September 1992).

Lack of investment by John Howard in skills, innovation and export strategies for manufacturing has prevented the growth stimulated by Labor’s economic reforms from continuing.

To survive in the modern economy, Australia must be internationally competitive. It is essential that the Federal Government is committed to taking the Australian economy to the next level of productivity improvement. And that means building our nation’s capacity and our people’s capability.

The Howard/Costello Government have ignored the warning signs on the health of our national economy for far too long. Today’s figures add further weight to that fact.

How many bleak reports from industry bodies will it take to get the Howard Government to take some decisive action to address the decline of the manufacturing sector?

Contact: Taryn Langdon 041 148 059 or 02 6277 3334