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Manufacturing Booms Competitiveness To New Plane

Manufacturing booms; competitiveness moves up to new plane

Manufactured exports have resumed their strong upward growth while the ANZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) in June is pointing to more growth ahead, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"Manufactured exports have moved to a new plane of international competitiveness," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"Manufactured exports in May (excluding processed dairy and meat products) lifted 11% to reach $12 billion in spite of exchange rate levels previously considered adverse.

"The success of our manufacturers confirms the economy can continue to grow strongly with the NZD at 60 cents US or even slightly higher.

"Our manufacturers are doing a superb job.

"For the month of June the PMI is showing the underlying strength is no flash in the pan; the PMI for New Zealand overall moved up 8 points to reach 62.2. Expansion was strongest in the northern region at 63.6.

"Furthermore, for manufacturers in the north the PMI registered 68.4 for the New Orders sub index, a tremendous achievement outstripping the PMI data from manufacturers in the US.

"This level of performance is very exciting.

"The reasons for the growth surge are due to the work going into achieving higher productivity which is being achieved by ongoing investment in skills training and in new equipment and capacity.

"High capacity utilisation also contributes to lower unit costs thereby lifting our international price competitiveness, in spite of inflationary pressures brought to bear by central and local government, and from higher energy and metal prices.

"The higher than forecast GDP data recently, along with today's lower than forecast CPI figure, supports the view that the economic models being applied need tuning.

"For the year ended May, our exports of elaborately transformed manufactures rose 10% to $8.7 billion with manufactured commodities rising by 13% to $3.27 billion.

"In comparison dairy exports in May went down 1% to $5.94 billion while meat product exports went up 6% to $4.88 billion.

"Some of our top performing manufactured exports lately are:

* carpets and rugs up 5% to $128.5 million

* rubber tyres up 20.6% to $96.2 million p.a.

* metal containers up 30.5% to $90.3 million

* motor vehicle body manufacturing up 24.7% to $24.2 million

* boat building up 53.9% to $228.8 million

* aircraft manufacturing up 71.8% to $32.1 million

* professional & scientific equipment up 48.3% to $139.2 million

* electronic equipment up 28.5% to $166.8 million

* household appliances up 17.7% to $456.7 million

* electrical equipment up 9.7% to $364.1 million

* agricultural machinery up 13.3% to $145.5 million

* industrial machinery up 7% to $605.2 million"

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