New Zealand’s manufacturing sector experienced an increase in expansion for April, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for April was 53.0 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 1 point up from March, and close to the value experienced in January.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that while the improvement in activity for April was welcome, the underlying trend still remains a concern.
“Seasonally adjusted values over the last 6-7 months have remained static between the 52-54 mark range. Although this indicates the sector is still in expansion mode, the unadjusted series has tended to trend down since late 2017. If this trend continues, it will eventually have negative consequences for the main published result”.
Despite the slight lift in expansion levels, the proportion of positive comments for April (48.9%) fell back from March (52.6%) and February (51.6%). Negative comments outlined a lack of orders and customer demand, along with seasonal factors, including Easter.
BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel said that “the headline PMI looks reasonable but some of the details have cooled off including new orders. It raises questions for those looking for a strong growth pickup later in 2019”.