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At 60 points, the performance of manufacturing index is at its highest level in a year, a full 10 points ahead of the average of the past year.
The numbers are led by new orders and production levels which are well above the 60 level with employment and finished product stock both at 56.7, as food manufacturers and those supplying gifts for retail are busy building stock for Christmas trading.
Otago Southland Employers' Association chief executive Virginia Nicholls said construction continued to be busy across both commercial and residential projects, while machinery manufacturing was busy with seasonal work.
"Some are working on large project tenders, which have the associated fluctuations that occur with these projects," she said.
She said the upgraded free-trade agreement with China was noteworthy, as it showed that trade deals could be improved over time.
"This upgrade means more access for our wood and paper products and faster transport of fresh food exports like seafood into China."
She said while India's exclusion from the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) was disappointing, the deal was still positive for New Zealand as it helped 15 countries align on trade rules in our region.