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NZ first qtr manufacturing bolstered by strong volume of meat, dairy products

Tuesday 11th June 2019

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The biggest increase in the volume of meat and dairy products for five years helped drive increased manufacturing sales in the March quarter. 

The volume of manufacturing sales rose a seasonally adjusted 2 percent in the three months ended March 31, led by an 11 percent rise in meat and dairy product manufacturing, Stats NZ said. 

“The volume of meat and dairy products manufacturing sales had the highest percentage rise since the December 2013 quarter,” manufacturing statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

The increase follows a 2.4 percent rise in the December quarter 

The manufacturing survey is the final tranche of second-tier data economists use to firm up their forecasts for first-quarter gross domestic product. Stronger-than-expected building work in the first quarter and a lift in wholesale trade had already led economists to believe the GDP likely held up better than expected. The Reserve Bank expects growth of 0.4 percent on quarter. The data is due June 20. 

Sales volumes for seven of the 13 industries fell in the March 2018 quarter. The largest decrease was in petroleum and coal products manufacturing, which fell 4 percent.

“The fall in petroleum and coal products manufacturing reversed a similar rise in the December 2018 quarter,” Chapman said. “This industry mainly reflects petroleum manufacturing, and quarterly production volumes often move up and down sharply.”

The value of manufacturing sales rose 1 percent, after dipping 0.5 percent in the December quarter.  

The value of meat and dairy products manufacturing sales reported the largest increase of 6.3 percent. Petroleum and coal products manufacturing sales had the largest decrease, down 13 percent, which Stats NZ said reflected both lower output prices and lower production volumes.

With price effects included, the actual total value of manufacturing sales was $28 billion in the March 2019 quarter, up $1.1 billion from the March 2018 quarter.

(BusinessDesk)

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