RTTNews - An index measuring manufacturing sentiment in Australia ticked up 6.1 points to 44.5, the Australian Industry Group said on Monday, marking the highest score since September 2008.

The July figure showed an improvement for the third consecutive month after coming in at 38.4 in June - although it remains pessimistic as a reading 50 and above indicates expansion, while one below 50 suggests contraction.

The index has been below 50 since May 2008.

The July score was boosted by improved scores among inventories, new orders and production. There was also improved confidence and a slight rebound in sales and orders, the data showed.

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