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Manufacturing eases but positive signs

Manufacturing eases but positive signs

The latest ANZ-Business NZ PMI (performance of manufacturing index) shows the rate of manufacturing expansion fell slightly in March, but higher expansion levels for new orders gave encouraging signs for the future.

The PMI for March was 52.7, down 0.3 points from February and down 12.3 points from its peak of 65.0 in November of 2002 (however a PMI reading above 50 indicates manufacturing is generally expanding).

This moderate expansion was led by increases in the new orders and deliveries of raw materials sub-indexes. Higher levels of expansion in new orders are important for future increased manufacturing levels. The production, employment and finished stocks sub-indexes all declined in value from February to March, although all still indicated slight expansion.

The Canterbury/Westland region experienced a strong rebound in manufacturing levels, from recording no change (50.0) in February to recording strong expansion in March (63.1). The Central region lifted its showing from 54.2 in February to 55.2 in March, while manufacturing levels in the Northern and Otago/Southland regions declined over the same period.

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