Australian Manufacturing Sector Shrinks at Slowest Pace in 10 Months

Australia’s [B]AiG Performance of Manufacturing Index [/B]rose to 44.5 in July, showing the sector was contracting at the slowest pace since September 2008. The rebound likely owes to generous fiscal aid package: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and company have distributed over A$12 billion in cash handouts this year and set aside A$22 billion for infrastructure projects. AiG chief executive Heather Ridout said that while the result was “encouraging”, the big question going forward “whether these improvements will be sustained once [fiscal] stimulatory forces have abated.”