This year is likely to bring more mixed results for manufacturers.
The latest BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) recorded just 50.1 in December.
That is 1.3 points higher than November but lower than the index average of 50.9 for 2012.
A PMI reading above 50.0 indicates manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 shows the industry is declining.
Business NZ executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard says the December result was symptomatic of the flat feeling manufacturers experienced last year.
“Five of the 12 months were in contraction, with only two months (February and May) showing any sufficient levels of expansion.
“This year will most likely present similar challenges for many manufacturers, although the long-awaited expectation of increased growth due to a slowly improving global economy, along with further upwards momentum in the Christchurch rebuild, should assist in driving up demand for products.”
BNZ economist Doug Steel characterises the year as having plenty of “ebb and flow”.
“For every indicator that looked to be doing a bit better, there seemed to be another one slipping the other way," he says.
"At least production-wise, there looks to have been enough over the past three months for manufacturing to make a positive contribution to Q4 GDP growth.”
Production was the only industry to expand in December, following a decline in November.
The other key index of new orders (48.9) fell back into contraction. Finished stocks (48.8) also fell into contraction after three months of continued improving results, while deliveries (49.9) showed no change.
Employment (49.1) is suffering from a four-month contraction period.
The northern region of the North Island had the biggest drop, falling 8.2 points. By contrast, both South Island regions remained in expansion mode – Canterbury/Westland on 53.4 points and Otago-Southland doing better than the rest of the country on 60 points.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- New lawyers not doing 'much better' than job at McDonald's – report surprises
- Sky TV-Vodafone merger application highlights threats – including those to key sports content
- MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain as market bounce continues; Kathmandu, Fletcher rise
- Marlborough-based wine company lists on the NXT despite OIO hiccup
- New hotel to go ahead in Auckland as govt looks to boost tourism investment
Most listened to
- Marlborough Wine Estates CEO Catherine Ma explains why the Chinese-owned company listed on the NXT
- National list MP Chris Bishop says Phil Twyford's accusation the government has made housing a 'race issue' is hypocritical
- Bond prices have fallen while oil prices have risen - Jason Walls explains why on Walls' Street
- NBR technology editor Chris Keall on hitting 4000 member subscribers
- In his Editor's Insight Nevil Gibson on the future of health information technology and medical devices industry