Manufacturing figures add fuel to recovery
New Zealand’s manufacturing sector – usually one of the most pessimistic parts of the economy – is singing the recovery song.
The latest Bank of New Zealand/Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) further nudged into positive territory in February.
The “PMI”, which is seasonally adjusted, was 53.3 – up 1.2% from January. A rating of above 50 is positive: below 50 is negative. The index is also based on an international standard and New Zealand is slightly below the global average, which stands at 55.2. However the international figure declined over the last month.
Local manufacturers reported a rise in new orders for the month, and reflects a “slow but steady improvement,” says Business New Zealand’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard.
Comments in the survey were “still more cautious than positive,” she said, but the increase in new orders and the fact all the main indicators, including employment, are moving into positive.
Bank of New Zealand head of research Stephen Toplis said the particularly good news for the economy in the survey is in the export area, with strong improvements in dairy, wood and fuel exporters.
“Our trading partner growth, heavily influenced by Asia and Australia, is expected to show relatively strong expansion over the next three years.”