The services sector in Australia continued to expand in December, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Markit Economics showed on Thursday with a services PMI score of 55.1.
That’s down from 55.7 in November, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
That said, the rate at which business activity rose remained at a level above the 2021 average to indicate solid growth post the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, according to panelists.
On the other hand, the expansion of incoming new business accelerated in December to the fastest in six months, with the Real Estate & Business Services sector exhibiting the strongest uplift in demand. Better economic conditions following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and higher vaccination rates enabled demand to grow further in December.
The survey also showed that the composite index fell to 54.9 in December from 55.7 in November.
While both manufacturing and service sectors output growth eased in December, demand for Australian services improved to push the composite New Orders Index higher in the latest survey. Foreign demand for Australian manufactured goods however improved while services exports stayed subdued with border restrictions and COVID-19 Omicron variant fears at play.