New Zealand’s manufacturing sector experienced an increase in expansion for October, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for October was 53.5 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 1.6 points higher than September, and the highest level of activity since May.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the October result was a welcome change from where the survey has sat for the previous four months.
“The key sub-indicators of production (52.8) and new orders (56.7) both improved with their highest results since May and April respectively. Also, after dipping into contraction during various times in 2018, employment (52.4) improved for a second consecutive month.
In line with the improved overall result, the proportion of positive comments (58.3%) also increased, with demand for products from offshore customers noted throughout. Others noted seasonal impacts such as improving weather conditions, as well as pre-Christmas season orders”.
BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel said that “the improvement in the PMI is not large, but we see it as important to the broader economic narrative”.