Expansion in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector dropped during August, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for August was 50.7 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was down 8.3 points from July, and the lowest result since May.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the Auckland lockdown obviously had a strong influence on results.
“After two months of playing catch-up, the level 3 lockdown placed on New Zealand’s largest population and economic region meant the sector would experience another hit. While results in other parts of the country led to the national result keeping its head above water, the latest results show how fragile and short the recovery can be.”
“While the key indices of new orders (54.0) and production (51.1) still remained positive, employment (49.0) remained in contraction for the sixth consecutive month.”
BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel said that “an outcome above the 50 breakeven mark – indicating a modicum of growth occurred in the month – is arguably a commendable result given more than a third of the country moved into alert level 3 for more than half of the month.”