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Lift in manufacturing activity

Media release
18 March 2005

Lift in manufacturing activity

Manufacturing activity picked up during February. The latest ANZ-Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) shows February in expansionary mode, with a value of 54.4*, up from 52.6 in January.

A lift in activity in the second month of the year is typical: the February 2005 result was similar to February 2003 and 2004.

New orders (56.9) continued to lead the main diffusion index values, closely followed by production (56.5). Raw materials (54.7) indicated some expansion, while employment (50.6) and finished stocks (48.6) were largely unchanged.

The Canterbury/Westland (63.1) region recorded a very strong level of expansion, while other regions had values between 51.0 and 53.8.

Many firms experienced a lift in activity after the Christmas period, although the continuing increase in the value of the New Zealand dollar (especially against the U.S. dollar) has meant export returns are continuing to drop. Some firms said they were investing in capital equipment to ease production constraints, given the continuing tight labour market.

*above 50 points indicates expansion, below 50 indicates decline

Full results are available on www.anz.co.nz under ‘ANZ Spotlight/Economics’ and on www.businessnz.org.nz under ‘PMI Reports’. For more information or assistance with data interpretation, contact Stephen Summers, ph 04 4966564, ssummers@businessnz.org.nz. The ANZ-Business NZ PMI (performance of manufacturing index) is sponsored by business banking specialist ANZ National Bank 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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