Manufacturing activity in New Zealand continued to push
forward with another healthy month of expansion in August,
BusinessNZ executive director Catherine Beard said yesterday.
Releasing the BNZ-BusinessNZ performance in manufacturing
index, Ms Beard said comments from manufacturers showed a
healthy and stable environment for growth.
''Those providing positive comments continue to focus on
opportunities relating to orders and sales. At a domestic
level, many of those involved in the building and
construction sectors are seeing strong demand for their
products. But equally, various offshore customers are
providing a steady stream of orders for New Zealand goods.
The New Zealand index reading was 57.5 points in August.
Central had the highest regional rating at 61.9, followed by
Otago-Southland at 58.8, Canterbury-Westland on 56.7 and
Northern on 53.8. Anything above 50 indicates an expansion
and the higher the number the larger the expansion.
Otago-Southland Employers Association chief executive John
Scandrett said the regional index outcome showed continuing
strength across most food and beverage activities, around
metal products manufacturing and within the specialist boat
Respondents cited positive seasonal-based rationale for the
continuing expansionary lift and also, in selected cases,
bringing forward good news on domestic market buoyancy.
In July, high levels of product deliveries was seen alongside
some wind-back on new orders. Those factors presented the
chance of a dip in market conditions in August, he said.
''This appears not to be the case, since the August
deliveries have also remained within a positive range and,
perhaps more importantly, the August finished stock levels
are strong, indicating operators are anticipating continuing
On the negative side, wood and paper operators seemed to be
experiencing some problems around seasonal market demand
slippage and, where export activity was involved, against
ongoing currency challenges, Mr Scandrett said.
BNZ economist Doug Steel said the New Zealand index results
were important, as they suggested the trend in manufacturing
activity remained positive following a tough second quarter.
The index average in July and August was the highest
two-month average reading in more than nine years.
''It bodes well for a bounce in manufacturing following the
disappointing second-quarter results,'' he said.