Industry activity falls again, Ai Group

Activity in Australia's services sector has fallen for the 13th consecutive month.

Activity in Australia’s services sector has fallen below the 50.0 level, which separates expansion from contraction, for the thirteenth consecutive month, an Australian Industry Group report read.

The Australian Industry Group and Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index (PSI) said that while activity was still slowing, the pace of decline had eased in April compared with March.

The decline in new orders slowed in April, falling at their slowest rate since October 2008, the report read.

The seasonally adjusted PSI rose 4.3 points to 39.8 in April.

According to company analysts, an Australian PSI reading above 50 points indicates services activity is generally expanding but below 50 means it is declining.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout said the Australian PSI readings for March and April provides some ‘glimmers of hope’ with the pace of decline easing and new orders in particular showing some upside.

“That said however, business conditions remain fundamentally weak across the sector,” Ridout said.

“Material risks remain and with unemployment rising it is far too early to suggest the worst is behind us. We see current conditions being consistent with further falls in official interest rates.”

Activity fell in five states, with the rate of decline moderating in three.

Tasmania was the only state to report growth in April.

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