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Manufacturing volumes rise for second consecutive quarter


Monday 20th June 2011

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Manufacturing volumes rose for a second consecutive quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, led by the transport equipment, machinery, and equipment manufacturing sector which grew by 11.9 percent.

Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said the total volume of manufacturing sales was up a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent in the March quarter, building on a 3.7 percent rise in the three months to December.

"It appears manufacturing volumes continue to rise after reaching their lowest level in more than 10 years," business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said.

"Unusually, this quarter’s rise was driven by industries other than meat and dairy product manufacturing."

Chemical, polymer, and rubber product manufacturing volume was up 5 percent, while wood and paper product manufacturing rose 4.1 percent.

Partly offsetting those rises in manufacturing sales volumes was a 12.9 percent fall in the printing industry and a 3.3 percent fall in petroleum and coal product manufacturing.

Meat and dairy product manufacturing volumes were up 1 percent in the March quarter, and when that category was excluded from the overall result the volume of sales was up 2.5 percent.

Seasonally adjusted manufacturing sales values rose 2.9 percent in the March quarter. Excluding meat and dairy product values, which fell 2.1 percent, the value of manufacturing sales was up 4.1 percent.

SNZ said it was confident the quality of the results had not been affected by the February 22 earthquake in Christchurch.

While a small number of businesses were adversely affected by the quake, industry sales totals had not been affected in a statistically significant way.

ANZ said the quake did not appear to have weighed on manufacturing activity, given the strength of the volumes when dairy and meat manufacturing were excluded.

Meat and dairy product manufacturing had held up during the quarter, and a solid result was suggested for the June quarter considering the mild autumn weather and good climatic conditions.

While manufacturing activity was holding up, the outlook for non-primary manufacturing appeared to be mixed, and to be largely a consequence of what manufacturers were producing and which markets they were selling to, ANZ said.

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