New Zealand's struggling manufacturing sector received a
welcome boost during the three months ending September but
only from the increased sales of dairy and meat products.
Statistics New Zealand's quarterly survey of manufacturing
showed total manufacturing sales volumes rising 2.6% in the
September quarter, up from a 0.5% rise in the June quarter.
The survey details were consistent with most forecasts of
weak growth in the September quarter gross domestic product
The quarter was dominated by a 20% rise in meat and dairy
sales. There was a 32% rise in dairy export volumes and 15%
for meat exports.
Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon said much of the
increased volumes in meat and dairy reflected a running down
of inventories built up in the previous quarter.
''The exact impact on GDP can't be determined from this
survey. For GDP purposes, meat and dairy volumes are surveyed
directly whereas the manufacturing survey records sales
values and applies a deflator."
He expected the final growth contribution would be more
modest, but positive.
Excluding meat and dairy, sales were down 1.4%.
There appeared to be an element of stock accumulation in the
future so the impact on production GDP might turn out to be
less negative, Mr Gordon said.
There was a 3% drop in sales of wood products, a 7% drop in
metal products - probably from cuts at Tiwai Point - and a 2%
drop in capital equipment. The latter, in particular, was
consistent with the growth ''pothole'' in the third quarter
that was evident in a broad range of indicators. Those same
indicators to date had been more positive for the fourth
quarter, Mr Gordon said.