New Zealand’s manufacturing sector continued to experience a slower rate of expansion in March, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for March was 54.7 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 1.2 points down from February, and the lowest level of expansion since October 2015. The sector has now been in continued expansion since October 2012.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the dip in expansion for March was across all the sub-indices, with employment in slight contraction for the second month running.
“While a number of negative comments mentioned a slowdown in both domestic and offshore orders, it is still important to remember that two-thirds of comments from manufacturers remain positive, not to mention that the sector is still in expansion mode.”
BNZ Senior Economist Doug Steel said ‘while there are some conflicting signals in the details, the PMI indicates ongoing growth in the manufacturing sector overall. NZ’s PMI remains well ahead of many other major economy equivalents.’