New Zealand’s level of manufacturing expansion in May came back down to more steady levels of expansion, according to the BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for May was 54.5 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 4.6 points lower than April, but still the third highest result over the last six months.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that while May softened in terms of expansion, the fundamentals behind the main result look solid for now.
“Despite the sub index of employment (49.8) dipping slightly into contraction, the remaining sub-indexes stayed in expansion. In addition, the proportion of positive comments in May (55.1%) was the same as March (55.1%), and up on February (51.4%) and January (50.7%). Those who provided positive comments typically noted steady demand and work flow, with some new markets being sought after”.
BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert said that “May’s PMI cemented the idea of a moderating rate of expansion in the manufacturing sector, compared to calendar 2017. Then again, above average is above average, which is encouraging”.