Manufacturing expands for 21 months

11/07/2014

Once more the statistics don’t support the opposition’s manufactured manufacturing crisis:

The manufacturing sector remains in expansion mode, despite some aspects of the results that need to be watched closely in the months ahead, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for June was 53.3 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 0.7 points higher than May, with the sector now being in expansion for 21 consecutive months.

BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the slight lift in expansion levels was obviously welcome, albeit with a few head winds for manufacturers.

“Overall production levels remain healthy, and have been very consistent for the last three months. Employment levels continue to show more people entering the sector, while the largest proportion of comments received are still positive.

“As mentioned last month, the fundamentals of both the PMI 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 in the months ahead.

BNZ senior economist, Craig Ebert says “Wading through the manufacturing component of the latest QSBO, while there are clear hints of moderation, it seems mainly a settling down into normal growth patterns rather than any sort of stalling. We get a similar impression for the recent PMI levels and trends, with its weak spot seemingly concentrated in new orders.” . . .

Business is never easy but 21 successive months of expansion with the dollar providing a head wind is a sign of the sector’s strength.

 


Manufacturing marching on

10/04/2014

More good news of the manufacturing front:

Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector continued to march onwards, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for March was 58.4 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 1.9 points higher than February and the highest level of activity since July 2013. The sector has now been in expansion for 19 consecutive months, with the first quarter of 2014 averaging 57.1.

BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that there were a number of pleasing aspects to the March result.

“After five consecutive months of solid activity, it was pleasing to see activity experience a further boost. Both production and new orders remained strong, while employment also lifted to its highest level for over six years.

“The proportion of positive comments from manufacturers for March broke the 60 percent value for the first time this year, as new orders/customers and an improving economy is providing a stronger platform for business growth.”

BNZ Head of Research Stephen Toplis said, “The manufacturing sector is in a buoyant mood – and rightly so. However, the economy and financial markets are at an inflection point. At such times, the potential for significant movements in interest rates and exchange rates is heightened. Given this, businesses need to focus on risk management to ensure that the impact of such risks can be mitigated.”

For the first time since October 2013, all five seasonally adjusted main diffusion indices were in expansion for the current month. Both production and new orders (60.5) displayed the same level of expansion, while employment (56.3) rose 1.6 points to record its highest level since November 2007. Deliveries of raw materials (57.1) edged slightly downwards from February, while finished stocks (51.1) went back into expansion after four consecutive months in contraction.

All four regions were again in expansion during March, with levels very similar across the country. In the North Island, the Northern region (59.2) rose 6.3 points, while the Central region (57.6) was almost identical to February’s result. In the South Island, the Canterbury/Westland region (59.9) picked up 6.2 points from February, while the Otago-Southland region (59.8) dipped 1.9 points.

Employment at its highest level since November 2007 is particularly encouraging.

The Opposition spent a lot of their time and our money touring the country manufacturing a manufacturing crisis.

When the sector has been expanding for 19 consecutive months, even they must admit there is no crisis.


The manufactured crisis

14/02/2014

Remember the manufactured manufacturing crisis the opposition spent so much of their energy and our money on last year?

The news on it is bad for them but very good for the rest of us:

New Zealand’s manufacturing sector started 2014 on a healthy note, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for January was 56.2 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). The sector has now been in expansion for 16 consecutive months, with the last six months also averaging 56.2.

BusinessNZ’s Executive Director for Manufacturing Catherine Beard said that despite the usual seasonal effects of Christmas and the holiday season, the sector has begun the way it finished off 2013.

“Positive comments from manufacturers revolved around a growing confidence by consumers, further gains in building construction and continued high levels of new orders, both domestically and offshore. In particular, the metal product sector is currently benefitting from the strong residential construction boom, which will no doubt continue for some months to come.”

BNZ Economist Doug Steel said it would be easy to understand if the PMI had lost a bit of heat in January, given the hefty lift in the NZD/AUD exchange rate. But the PMI has barrelled on, as domestic demand strengthens. . . .

This provided the opportunity in Question Time yesterday:

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Of the 16 different industries measured by the household labour force survey, employment rose in 11, including manufacturing, which does debunk another myth often heard around this building. There is no doubting that the high New Zealand dollar is a challenge for exporters, but the January Performance of Manufacturing Index, which was released today, shows manufacturing has now been in expansion for 16 consecutive months, which is, weirdly, precisely the exact same time since the Opposition announced the start of its inquiry into a manufacturing crisis. I quote from the Performance of Manufacturing Index today, which says that manufacturing punched above its weight regarding job growth in 2013. It accounted for 13.5 percent of jobs added in the New Zealand economy overall last year, which is more jobs than were added in Australia in the same period. . .

There is a cloud on the horizon though:

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: . . .  The Government has more than 350 initiatives under the Business Growth Agenda that are helping businesses grow, because that is how employment grows. I contrast this with policies that would put a chill on industries, that would cause their hiring intentions to freeze, and companies themselves might not even survive—for example, if you nationalise the electricity industry or double the cost of the emissions trading scheme on households and businesses, or if you impose new taxes on every single business in the country. . . .

The left demonise business without realising its the goose that lays the golden eggs of employment and economic growth.

The recovery is real but it’s not yet robust and a change of government with policies that would undermine business confidence could easily reverse the hard-won progress that’s being made.

 

 

 


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