New Zealand’s manufacturing sector remained within a tight and low level of expansion for September, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for September was 51.7 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 0.3 points lower than August, and within a tight band of only 1.5 points for the last four months.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the September results confirmed that the sector is currently stuck in low expansion mode.
“While it was good to see employment (50.5) returning to some level of expansion, in contrast production (49.6) returned to contraction. Also, new orders (52.4) displayed weaker expansion for September, which may affect production figures in the months ahead.
The proportion of positive comments (53.4%) remains weak, with those who outlined negative influences typically focussed on further falls in customer demand (both onshore and offshore), as well as comments centred on a general slowdown”.
BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert said that “while New Zealand’s manufacturing sector remains stuck in a low gear, we should remain cautious about how much expansion we can reasonably expect of it given the industry remains extremely stretched for resources”.