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Manufacturing up 0.3%, led by meat, dairy products

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand manufacturing sales volumes rose in the second quarter as increases in meat and dairy products, transport equipment and machinery made up for a drop in petroleum and coal products.

Total manufacturing rose 0.3%, seasonally adjusted, in the three months ended June 30, slowing from a 1.2% pace in the first quarter, Statistics New Zealand reports.

Excluding meat and dairy, manufacturing sales rose 0.5%. Volumes increased 1.4% from the same period a year earlier.

By contrast, the value of manufacturing sales fell 1.1% in the second quarter, following a 1.5% decline three months earlier, with meat and dairy down 3.1% and petroleum and coal products down 8.2%.

The decline in the value of meat and dairy manufacturing is consistent with the results of the producers' price index for the second quarter, the government statistician says.

The volume of finished goods stocks, which are not seasonally adjusted, rose 29% from the same quarter last year to the highest level since the series began in 1994.

The manufacturing data is one of the last components of gross domestic product for the second quarter, which is scheduled for release on September 20.

UBS New Zealand economist Robin Clements says manufacturing sales volumes excluding meat and dairy products met his expectations and the economy is on track for GDP growth of 0.5% for the second quarter.