New Zealand’s manufacturing sector experienced increased expansion levels during August, according to the BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for August was 57.9 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 2.4 points higher than July, and close to expansion levels seen in May. Overall, the sector has remained in expansion in all months since October 2012.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the pick-up in expansion levels was good to see after consecutive months of lower expansion.
“Expansion was was higher for three of the five sub-indices, with production (60.3) at its highest level since September 2016. Employment (56.7) also went from strength to strength, with its highest result since September 2014”.
“With expansion improving during August, the proportion of positive comments increased to 65%, which was well up on the 56.1% recorded in July, although still lower than 68.2% in June. In terms of specific comments, there were a number who outlined increased orders from Australia, while various negative comments mentioned uncertainty around the upcoming election”.
BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert, said that “while the election polls are equivocal, the PMI is nothing of the sort. It picked up to a perky 57.9 in August, which puts it even further above its long-term average of 53.3”.