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Manufacturing Expansion Eases

Media release
28 January 2005

Manufacturing expansion eases

Manufacturing expansion levels eased during December, but still indicated a healthy sector.

The latest ANZ-Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) recorded a value of 58.1 (above 50 points indicates expansion, below 50 indicates decline).

This was down from 65.9 in November. A drop in expansion from November to December is typical. The December 2004 result was higher than in December 2002 and 2003.

New orders (61.6) and production (61.3) continued to lead the main diffusion index values. Employment (54.3) indicated some expansion, while stocks (50.9) were largely unchanged.

The four regions had fairly similar levels of expansion: Northern (58.8), Otago/Southland (58.2), Central (56.8) and Canterbury/Westland (56.5).

December was busy time for manufacturers coping with the pre-Christmas rush and arrangements for the holiday shutdown. Comments from manufacturers indicated an upbeat outlook, although the continuing high value of the New Zealand dollar, especially against the U.S currency, meant many exporters were not as competitive as in previous years.

ENDS


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