BNZ – BusinessNZ
Performance of
Manufacturing
Index

New orders boost – PMI

16 Apr, 2021
63.6
March
+9.4

Monthly Change

expanding
faster rate

New Zealand’s manufacturing sector saw a strong boost in new orders and production during March, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for March was 63.6 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was up 9.4 points from February, and the highest monthly result since the survey began in 2002.

BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the March result was obviously a shot in the arm for the sector, although any single monthly movement needs to be treated with caution in the context of the current economic environment.

“The two major sub-index values of Production (66.8) and New Orders (72.5) were the main drivers of the March result, with the latter experiencing its first post 70-point value.  This does indicate a swift shift in demand over a relatively short time, which may indicate a move towards previously shelved projects and business ventures that have now been given the green light”.

“Given the strong March result, the proportion of those outlining positive comments increased significantly from 46% in February to almost 58% in March.  Unsurprisingly, comments were centred towards increased demand, both domestically and offshore”.

BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel noted that “more demand is one thing, but meeting it is another. Firms have faced many supply-side challenges. In this regard, it is interesting to see PMI deliveries of raw materials lifted strongly, to 62.8, this month. That coincides with other data showing imports leapt more than 17% above year earlier levels in March following prior weakness”.

Catherine Beard

Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI

Time Series Data

View seasonally adjusted and unadjusted time series data for the BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI

Manufacturing Snapshot

Ain’t Seen Anything Like This Before

March’s Performance of Manufacturing Index was unquestionably strong. Indeed, at 63.6, it is the strongest result in the survey’s history dating back to 2002. It is so strong that one immediately wonders if it is some sort of data quirk. But that is not obvious.
Read more

Demand

Demand has lifted strongly. Precision on the reasons why changes occur is always difficult but more construction activity, a buoyant primary sector, increased government activity, movement toward domestic sourcing, and improving external demand were all understandably mentioned by respondents.
Read more

Supply Issues

More demand is one thing, but meeting it is another. Firms have faced many supply-side challenges. In this regard, it is interesting to see PMI deliveries of raw materials lifted strongly, to 62.8, this month. That coincides with other data showing imports leapt more than 17% above year earlier levels in March following prior weakness.
Read more

Doug Steel

Doug Steel

Senior Economist, BNZ

Sponsor Statement

BNZ is delighted to be associated with the Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) and BusinessNZ.

This association brings together the significant experience of leading business advocacy body BusinessNZ, and business finance specialist BNZ.

We look forward to continuing our association with BusinessNZ and associated regional organisations, and to playing our part in the ongoing development of the New Zealand manufacturing sector.

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National Indicies Mar
2020
Nov
2020
Dec
2020
Jan
2021
Feb
2021
Mar
2021
BNZ – BusinessNZ PMI 38.1 55.1 48.4 57.4 54.2 63.6
Production 31.2 55.2 52.5 59.7 58.4 66.8
Employment 44.9 51.2 49.9 56.2 50.2 53.5
New Orders 37.8 56.9 50.5 61.6 58.0 72.5
Finished Stocks 44.6 59.5 45.2 53.1 51.6 55.4
Deliveries 40.1 51.5 44.9 48.9 48.1 62.8

BNZ – BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

March 2017 – March 2021

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM

01 Apr 2021
55.0

About the PMI

The BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index is a monthly survey of the manufacturing sector providing an early indicator of activity levels.

A PMI reading above 50 points indicates manufacturing activity is expanding; below 50 indicates it is contracting.

The main PMI and sub-index results are seasonally adjusted.

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Our Contributors

The BNZ – BusinessNZ PMI contains data obtained through BusinessNZ’s regional organisations