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Manufacturing expansion steadies

Manufacturing expansion steadies

Manufacturing activity continued to ease during January. The latest ANZ-Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) shows January was still in expansionary mode, with a value of 52.6*, - but down from 58.1 in December and 65.9 in November.

A drop in expansion for the beginning of the year is typical and the January 2005 result was higher than in January 2003 and 2004.

New orders (56.2) continued to lead the main diffusion index values. Both employment (52.4) and finished stocks (51.5) indicated some expansion, while raw materials (50.9) and production (49.8) were largely unchanged.

The Otago/Southland (54.9) and Northern (53.8) regions recorded similar expansion levels, while the Canterbury/Westland region experienced a slight decline (49.4)

Many firms mentioned the typical falloff in activity after the Christmas period but said orders were still coming through at a steady pace. The high value of the New Zealand dollar was still a concern, although some manufacturers noted that apart from seasonal activity, conditions for business had changed little over recent months.

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