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Manufacturing activity eases after seasonal rush

Media release
30 January 2004

Manufacturing activity eases after seasonal rush

New Zealand manufacturing conditions eased during December, according to the latest ANZ-Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

New Zealand recorded an overall PMI value of 54.0 for December 2003 (a PMI reading above 50 points indicates expansion and below 50 indicates decline). While this was 10.4 points down from the November value, this is consistent with the usual Christmas pattern. On an annual basis the PMI was 2.4 points lower than in December 2002.

Three of the five sub-indexes recorded expansion in December (production, new orders and deliveries). The employment sub-index indicated slight decline from a peak in November. The decline in the finished stocks sub-index is an indication of high inventory turnover due to strong sales.

Three of the four regions recorded expansion, with Canterbury/Westland again indicating strong expansion. The Central region indicated a slight decline.

Demand at a domestic level during the Christmas period was considered strong by many firms, although the continued upward movement of the New Zealand dollar against the US dollar continues to undermine export returns.

Full results are available on http://www.anz.co.nz under 'ANZ Spotlight/Economics' and on http://www.businessnz.org.nz under 'PMI Reports'.

The ANZ-Business NZ PMI (performance of manufacturing index) is sponsored by business banking specialist ANZ Banking Group (NZ) Ltd and draws on the depth of member companies associated with Business NZ: EMA (Northern), EMA (Central), Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Otago Southland Employers' Association.

ENDS


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