Otago and Southland's manufacturing sector slipped off its
pace at the end of 2012, but still led national data from
For 2012, the average for the BNZ-Business New Zealand
performance of manufacturing index stood at 50.9, reflecting
a flat year, barely nudging at expansion, and with only
slightly better expectations for 2013.
Points above 50 on the index reflect expansion, and below
Nationally, the index barely changed for December and sits on
the fence at 50.1 points. Northern and central North Island
were in contraction at 48.4 and 46.3 respectively, while
Canterbury-Westland and Otago- Southland remained in
expansion, at 53.4 and 60 respectively.
Otago Southland Employers' Association chief executive, John
Scandrett, said it was positive to see the Otago-Southland at
60 points, in the face of ''a good deal of recent negative
comment on the general state of the manufacturing sector''.
''While we did slip slightly off the November 65-point
reading, the continuing expansion-based results are
satisfying. Particularly so, since the December outcome again
has us leading the national results,'' Mr Scandrett said.
BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing, Catherine
Beard, said five of the 2012 months were in contraction, and
only February and May showed sufficient levels of expansion.
However, comments by manufacturers remain more positive than
negative, and New Zealand remains well ahead of Australian
manufacturing, which had a total 10 months of contraction
For Otago-Southland, the sub-indices for December of
production, employment, deliveries and finished stocks were
all ''strongly in expansionary mode'', Mr Scandrett said.
''While elements of these would have been connected to
Christmas demand expectation, they are also, hopefully,
indicative pointers on what manufacturers see as
post-Christmas market strength,'' Mr Scandrett said.
Some machinery and equipment activities fell short of
industry expectation, and again in the packaging sector,
there was a reflection of the lack of strength in the
Australian market for local operators.
Ms Beard said 2013 would most likely present similar
challenges for many manufacturers, although expectations of
global economic growth and momentum from Christchurch's
rebuilding ''should assist in driving up demand for