Confidence remains strong in the manufacturing sector

A new report by Sensis shows that small and medium businesses’ confidence in the manufacturing industry has risen by 20 points in the last quarter to +55 – the highest it’s been since before the GFC in 2008. Manufacturing confidence is currently outpacing wider business confidence for only the second time in 10 years, with manufacturing businesses also most likely to say that the economy will continue to grow.

Favourable economic factors and investment are driving growth

The Australian dollar has remained under 80 US cents this year, boosting the export market.

Manufacturing’s favourable business environment and healthy sales are being driven by a range of factors. The Australian dollar has remained under 80 US cents for most of the year which is boosting the export market and helping manufacturers compete with imports. There’s also strong demand from Asia for health, agribusiness and food and beverage products, which accounts for about one-third of Australian manufacturing. Domestic investment in infrastructure and construction projects, particularly in NSW and Victoria are also boosting the sector.

Innovation is the key to maintaining future growth

Investing in digital technology will help small manufacturers boost their productivity.

Investing in digital technology is key to many manufacturing firms being able to remain competitive in the domestic and international market. That’s why Senator Michaelia Cash, the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, and Nicolle Flint MP, recently announced an industry-led project to help small manufacturers take advantage of digital technology and boost their productivity. The project will help 17 businesses apply robotics, cyber-physical systems and automation to their manufacturing process, increasing their ability to compete on both price and value. Led by South Australian-based engineering and design company, Dematec Automation Pty Ltd, the project has received $250,000 of funding from the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) and will also be matched by industry funding.

In addition, the Government has extended funding for Industry Growth Centres for another two years so that they can continue to build on their success with Australian manufacturers. The Industry Growth Centres are also industry-led. They focus on driving innovation, productivity and competitiveness by increasing collaboration and commercialisation, improving access to global supply chains, enhancing workforce skills, and optimising the regulatory environment.

Initiatives like these will ensure Australian manufacturers can adopt new technologies, innovate and continue to create jobs into the future. With confidence high and investment growing, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve by partnering with a good recruiter to help your business meet demand.