New Zealand’s manufacturing sector experienced a positive end to 2018, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for December was 55.1 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 1.4 points up from November, and the highest level of overall activity since April.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the December result ensured activity over 2018 kept ahead of the long-term results for the sector.
“2018 averaged 53.8 in activity, slightly ahead of the overall average of 53.4 since the survey began. However, it was still a noticeable dip in expansion compared with 56.2 over 2017 and 56.0 over 2016.
Looking at the main sub-index values, new orders (56.1) still remains in healthy territory, although it was interesting to note that finished stocks (58.6) was at its highest level since the survey began.
In addition, the proportion of positive comments for December (60.6%) was slightly up from November (60.1%). Seasonal factors were again a major discussion point, with the Christmas period dominating comments”.
BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert said that “the latest NZ PMI result is all the more encouraging in the context of slowing growth in global manufacturing. The latter is part of what’s casting clouds around international GDP growth expectations, going into 2019”.