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Excellent March Quarter For Manufacturing

Excellent March Quarter For Manufacturing But The Future’s Clouded

“New Zealand’s manufacturing sector achieved some excellent results for the March quarter,” said David Moloney, President of the New Zealand Manufacturers Federation. Mr Moloney was commenting on the latest WestpacTrust Analysis of Manufacturing.
“Driven mainly by commodity based manufacturing, sales growth for the March year end is the highest since June 1995 with productivity growth up 6.8% over the March 1999 year. This makes 14 quarters of productivity growth in a row. At the same time real wages increased for the fourth consecutive quarter. While investment in new plant and machinery continued to track lower, it was at a greatly reduced rate.
“What we do need to watch is the decline in the growth rate for domestic sales which has been evident over the March quarter and whether the bounce back in export growth is sufficient to offset this. A further factor to watch is the weaker growth in the Australian market. This has consequences both for New Zealand exporters and those who compete against Australian goods on the New Zealand domestic market.
“The latest WestpacTrust business opinion survey which is due out early next week will give us a better idea of what the future is likely to hold and whether we can confidently expect the current buoyant conditions to continue over the next six months and beyond.”

For further comment contact:

David Moloney 04 388 8355 (bus),
Peter Crawford 04 473-3000 (bus)

The latest WestpacTrust Analysis can be obtained from ManFed’s web-site

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