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Manufacturing Activity Picks Up For February

Media release
26 March 2004

Manufacturing activity picks up for February

New Zealand manufacturing conditions picked up in February, according to the latest ANZ-Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The New Zealand PMI increased 3.8 points from January to stand at 55.2 for February 2004 (a PMI reading above 50 points indicates expansion and below 50 indicates decline) as firms returned to typical levels of activity following the summer holiday season. The increase in the level of expansion in February follows a three month period during which the level of expansion slowed, and it lifted the index 2.2 points above the level prevailing twelve months earlier in February 2003.

Four of the five sub-indexes recorded expansion in February (production, new orders, finished stocks and deliveries), while the employment sub-index continued to record a moderate decline.

Three of the four regions recorded expansion, with the Central and Canterbury/Westland regions indicating the strongest level of expansion. Otago/Southland recorded a second modest monthly decline, but this follows eight consecutive months of expansion in the region.

During the past year the PMI has highlighted the contrast between export-orientated manufacturers and domestic manufacturers who have been buoyed by the ongoing building boom in New Zealand. While the strength of the New Zealand dollar remains an ongoing concern for exporters, there was a more positive undertone in February with some firms reporting a pick-up in export orders.

ENDS

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