New Zealand’s manufacturing sector started 2016 with continued strength, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for January was 57.9 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 0.9 points up from December, and the highest level of expansion since October 2014. The sector has now been in continued expansion since October 2012.
BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the January result has started the new year off to a healthy start, with the key indicators of production (60.3) and new orders(59.8) showing strong growth. “Over two-thirds of manufacturers provided positive comments regarding their main influence on business activity, with increased sales both on a domestic and international basis. Other comments outlined the general positive sentiment occurring in the New Zealand economy.”
BNZ Senior Economist Craig Ebert said “The other very agreeable feature of the latest PMI is the stoutness in its employment index. This gives us some confidence that staffing levels
in the sector will continue to expand”.