Manufacturing across the country just remained in
positive territory for June, but the Otago-Southland region was
out of step, booking two consecutive months of contraction.
The seasonally adjusted national index for June was up 0.7
points from May to 53.3 and the sector has now been in
expansion for 21 consecutive months, according to the latest
BNZ-Business New Zealand performance of manufacturing index.
An index reading above 50 is expansion and below,
contraction. Otago-Southland booked 48.1 in May and 48.8 for
Otago Southland Employers' Association chief executive, John
Scandrett, said the ''dent'' in the June survey outcome for
Otago-Southland was from production not moving through to
customers in desired volumes or in a timely fashion.
''The June index, as we saw the previous month, has again
produced feedback of inventory build tracking out of step
with new orders and deliveries,'' Mr Scandrett said.
June activity levels were mixed for the Otago Southland food
and beverage and selected machinery and equipment operators.
As happened in May, the textile, clothing and footwear
manufacturers reported ''solid results''.
The Northern region declined but booked 50.6, the North
Island central region fell to 52.8, while the Canterbury
Westland region was unchanged at 56.6.
Business New Zealand's executive director for manufacturing,
Catherine Beard, said the slight lift in expansion levels was
welcome, albeit with a few headwinds.
''The fundamentals of both the manufacturing index and other
indicators of the economy still point to positive activity.
''However, the continued strength of the New Zealand dollar,
as well as new order levels continuing to fall, mean there
are elements of the sector that need to be watched closely,''
Ms Beard said.
Employment levels continue to show more jobs in the sector,
while the largest proportion of comments received were still
positive, she said.