Growth in manufacturing demand has hoisted Otago and
Southland into the top expansionary spot around the country
Otago-Southland plunged from a buoyant 60 in December to
contraction in January at 48.4 but has bounced back to 57.2,
led by a sub-index of new orders, Otago Southland Employers'
Association chief executive John Scandrett said.
''With the solid 8.2-point comparative gain to our February
result we have not only moved back into an expansionary mode,
but the improved 57.2 reading has us once again taking the
lead on national manufacturing index outcomes,'' Mr Scandrett
The monthly BNZ - Business New Zealand
performance-in-manufacturing index - with readings under 50
being in contraction and above in expansion - had the
national figure for February at 56.3.
Otago-Southland's 57.2 was followed by Northern and Central
regions at 53.6 and 53.8 respectively and Canterbury/Westland
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said there were
still challenges for some parts of the manufacturing industry
but calls that manufacturing ''is in crisis'' was clearly not
''It's a political position that is not being reflected
across all manufacturing industries. There are areas
thriving, even against the real strength of the dollar.''
Asked if he had concerns about any parts of the manufacturing
sector, Mr Joyce turned it around to talk about the
opportunities New Zealand had in some high-valued industries
such as engineering and food processing.
He had visited two Dunedin manufacturers yesterday who had
demonstrated how design and engineering of their products was
driving their success.
Business New Zealand's executive director for manufacturing
Catherine Beard said it was encouraging February's result
exhibited stronger activity, most likely due to increased
activity often associated with construction, such as the
Canterbury rebuild or increased renovation work throughout
''Given a large proportion of New Zealand's domestic
manufacturing activity is dependent on the construction
sector, stronger demand for products such as paint, concrete,
fixtures/fittings and related equipment will obviously
provide the sector with a welcome boost,'' she said.