Otago manufacturing data continues to lead the countryas all
regions are still in expansion mode, but all showed some
cooling in overall activity during April.
While the manufacturing sector has now been in expansion for
19 consecutive months, the level of expansion was not as
strong as the previous month, possibly because of the effects
of Easter and Anzac Day creating a long holiday for many,
according to the latest BNZ-Business New Zealand performance
of manufacturing index, released yesterday.
BNZ economist Doug Steel said, despite what looks like a
''holiday-induced slowdown'' in April, the trends in the
index remained strong, especially in employment.
''Buoyant construction and agriculture sectors look
supportive on the demand side,'' he said.
An index reading above 50 indicates expansion, and below 50,
Nationally, the index fell 2.8 points from March to 55.2,
while Otago's 2.1-point dip to 57.7 was far ahead of the
other three regions; the northern North Island was down to
53, central North island dropped to 51.3 and
Canterbury/Westland was at 50.1 points.
Mr Steel said the total annual value of building consents,
both residential and commercial, had now pushed beyond $12
billion, and past its previous peak in 2008.
''The positive outlook for construction in particular should
underpin further manufacturing expansion for the foreseeable
future. It looks like manufacturers are gearing up for it,''