Australia's February Judo Bank PMI returns to growth, comes in at 51.8 versus the previous 49.0

Australia's Judo Bank Composite Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) returned to growth figures above 50.0 for the first time since last October, and saw its highest print since May of last year.

The Judo Bank Services PMI fueled the rebound, climbing from 49.1 to a nine-month high of 52.8.

Despite the improvement, Australia's Manufacturing PMI fell back into contraction, printing at 47.7 versus the previous 50.1. The Australian Manufacturing PMI component has only printed above the 50.0 level once in the last 12 consecutive prints.

As noted by Judo Bank, growth in Australia's private sector was driven entirely by the services sector in the first half of the first quarter of 2024, and business sector sentiment remained positive, albeit at a three-month low.

Judo Bank:

... overall sentiment in the Australian private sector remained positive in February, though the level of business confidence eased on the back of lingering concerns over the impact of high interest rates and inflation on sales.

Market reaction

The AUD/USD remains stuck near 0.6550 with the pair bolstered by the 200-hour Simple Moving Average (SMA) near 0.6520, but bullish momentum remains pinned below the week's near-term high around 0.6580.

About Australia's Judo Bank Composite PMI

The Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), released on a monthly basis by Judo Bank and S&P Global, is a leading indicator gauging private-business activity in Australia for both the manufacturing and services sectors. The data is derived from surveys to senior executives. Each response is weighted according to the size of the company and its contribution to total manufacturing or services output accounted for by the sub-sector to which that company belongs. Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month and can anticipate changing trends in official data series such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), industrial production, employment and inflation. The index varies between 0 and 100, with levels of 50.0 signaling no change over the previous month. A reading above 50 indicates that the Australian private economy is generally expanding, a bullish sign for the Australian Dollar (AUD). Meanwhile, a reading below 50 signals that activity is generally declining, which is seen as bearish for AUD.

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