Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector picked up in September, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for September was 57.7 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 2.5 points up from August, and the highest level of activity in the sector since January this year. The sector remains solidly in expansion in almost all months since October 2012.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the lift in expansion levels was welcome after two consecutive months of softening expansion.
“The two key sub-indices of production (61.3) and new orders (60.9) returned to post-60 point values, while employment (50.3) moved back into slight expansion mode after showing contraction in August”.
“The overall improvement in expansion levels was mirrored by the proportion of positive comments increasing to 63.8% in September, compared with 58.4% for August. A number of positive comments again centered on preparation for the summer/Xmas season, while international orders continued to hold up relatively well”.
BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert, said that “while the PMI kicked back up, the details of the survey again highlighted some fraying at the edges. This was not so noticeable by region anymore, but large firms (45.0) were more clearly lagging the impetus that relatively smaller firms maintained in September”.