The AIG Performance of Services Index in Australia rose to 44.8 in March 2019 from 44.5 in February. The latest reading pointed to the weakest contraction in the services sector in three months, as new orders (up 3.8 points to 42.3) and sales (up 0.7 to 38.5 points) increased, still remaining in negative territory. Additionally, employment returned to expansion (up 2.9 points to 52.2) and average wages jumped 6.1 points to 59.1. Meanwhile, supplier deliveries (down 4 points to 46.9) and finished stocks (-10.2 points to 44.8) declined. Also, capacity utilisation inched down 0.9 to 77.5 percent. Among services sectors, all business and consumer-oriented sectors contracted. Services PMI in Australia averaged 50.21 Index Points from 2003 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 63 Index Points in June of 2018 and a record low of 32.50 Index Points in February of 2009.
Services PMI in Australia is expected to be 53.87 Index Points by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Services PMI in Australia to stand at 51.60 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Australia Performance Services Index is projected to trend around 52.20 Index Points in 2020, according to our econometric models.