BNZ – BusinessNZ
Performance of
Manufacturing
Index

On the improve

15 Mar, 2024
49.3
February
+1.8

Monthly Change

Contracting
Slower Rate

Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector continued to show improvement in February, but still remained in contraction, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for February was 49.3 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was up from 47.5 in January and the highest level of activity since February 2023. However, the sector has now been in contraction for 12 consecutive months.

BusinessNZ’s Director, Advocacy Catherine Beard said that the improved February result showed signs of a gradual turnaround in the sector.

“The key sub-index of Production (49.1) was at its highest level since January 2023, while Deliveries (51.4) was at its highest point since March 2023. However, New Orders (47.8) has now remained in contraction for nine consecutive months and likely needs to get much closer to the 50-point mark to edge the sector back into expansion”.

The proportion of negative comments in February stood at 62%, which was down from 63.2% in January but up from 61% in December. A lack of orders (both domestic and offshore) was mentioned by many respondents, as well as the general slowdown in the economy.

BNZ’s Head of Research Stephen Toplis said that “New Zealand’s manufacturing sector is still in recession, but this month’s PMI indicates there is light at the end of the tunnel. The 49.3 reading is within a smidgen of “breakeven” and the new orders to inventory differential provides support for an increase in production. Moreover, New Zealand’s underperformance against the rest of the world is narrowing quickly”.

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

Signs of life

There are a number of economic indicators which are suggesting New Zealand might just be through the worst of this economic downturn. Today’s PMI is yet another one of that ilk. The data are hardly cause for dancing in the streets but the direction of travel certainly provides reason for hope.

Read more

Closing the gaps

The New Zealand economy has been significantly underperforming its trading partners. Not surprisingly, the same can be said for its manufacturing sector. Another piece of good news in the data is that the gap is closing rapidly and for this first time since May 2023 the NZ PMI exceeds its Trans-Tasman counterpart.

Read more

Leading indicator positive

Importantly, the sub-components of the PMI provide every reason to believe the current upward momentum can be maintained. The trend decline in stocks of finished products is welcomed.

Read more

Labour market increasingly helpful

The other factor that continues to help business is the increasing ease of finding labour and the reduction in labour cost inflation associated with that. This can be combined with a trend improvement in the deliveries of raw materials which may well reflect the ongoing improvement in supply chains.

Read more

Stephen Toplis

Stephen Toplis

Head of Research, 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 Feb 2023 Oct 2023 Nov 2023 Dec 2023 Jan 2024 Feb 2024
BNZ – BusinessNZ PMI 51.1 42.8 46.7 43.6 47.5 49.3
Production 47.3 41.6 43.7 40.9 42.9 49.1
Employment 55.4 43.8 48.5 47.0 51.3 50.0
New Orders 50.2 44.4 47.5 44.1 47.8 47.8
Finished Stocks 55.2 45.7 50.4 46.0 47.4 48.7
Deliveries 50.9 43.3 48.0 44.0 49.8 51.4

BNZ – BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

January 2019 – February 2024

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM

01 Mar 2024
50.3

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.

Technical Contact

Stephen Summers
Economist, BusinessNZ

[email protected]

PMI Releases

Stuck in low gear

Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector improved in January, but still remained in contraction, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The seasonally adjusted PMI for January was 47.3 (a PMI reading above 50.0...

Tough year

Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector ended in further contraction, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The seasonally adjusted PMI for December was 43.1 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is...

Little Christmas cheer

Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector improved during November, but still remained in contraction, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The seasonally adjusted PMI for November was 46.7 (a PMI reading above 50.0...

Downward spiral

Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector dropped further during October, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The seasonally adjusted PMI for October was 42.5 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is...

Entrenched contraction

New Zealand’s manufacturing sector slipped further into contraction during September, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The seasonally adjusted PMI for September was 45.3 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that...

Our Contributors

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