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NZ manufacturing activity slips in August, remains in broad expansion mode

Friday 13th September 2013

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New Zealand manufacturing activity slipped in August but remained in broad expansion mode.

The BNZ-BusinessNZ performance of manufacturing index declined 2 points to 57.5 in August from July although it was the highest level for an August month since the survey began in 2002. A reading above 50 indicates the sector expanded.

All five seasonally adjusted main indices expanded in August, continuing the trend of the past four months. New orders led the indices at 60.9. That was followed by production at 58.3 and deliveries at 55.9 with finished stocks and employment both recording 54.1.

Bank of New Zealand economist Doug Steel said the PMI offered encouragement regarding a strong lift in manufacturing production in the third quarter after a weak second quarter when drought kept a lid on food processing.

Expansion was experienced in all parts of the country during the month, with the Central Region leading the way at 61.9 on the back of a strong pick up in new orders and production. The Otago/Southland region recorded 58.8, with Canterbury/Westland at 56.7 and the Northern region at 53.8.

Manufacturing sub-groups all remained in expansion during the month, with food, beverages and tobacco leading the way at 69.2, followed by machinery and equipment manufacturing at 55.6, metal product manufacturing at 53 and petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product manufacturing at 52.4.

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