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The services sector in Australia continued to contract in August, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from Markit Economics revealed on Friday with a services PMI score of 42.9.

That’s down from 44.2 in July and it moves further beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Business activity and demand remained under pressure while employment levels fell for the first time in ten months. Price pressures also persisted in the service sector. That said, the overall level of optimism improved amongst Australian service providers.

The survey also showed that its composite index fell to 43.3 in August from 45.2 in July.

Manufacturing output followed services into contraction after thirteen months of expansion, while business activity in the service sector suffered a more severe downturn amid extended lockdown conditions across many parts of Australia.


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