New Zealand’s level of manufacturing expansion decreased slightly in February, according to the BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for February was 53.4 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was one point lower than January, and the second lowest expansion value in the last 13 months. The February result was also exactly on par with the overall average PMI value since the survey began.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that while the PMI remained in positive territory, the last three months have shown a levelling off of expansion.
“The proportion of positive comments in February (51.4%) was very close to the result in January (50.7%). A number of respondents have noted the sluggish start to the year, with a dip in new orders being a common message”.
BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel said that “there is no doubting the Performance of Manufacturing Index has slowed over recent months. That said, February’s PMI is hardly weak in exactly matching its long term average”.