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Manufacturing Survey Shows Decrease In Activity

Media statement
13 May 2005

The latest ANZ-Business NZ manufacturing survey shows a decrease in activity for the month of April.

Paul Winter, chief executive of EMA Central, which represents manufacturers from Gisborne and Napier through to Nelson, including the greater Wellington area, says the decline is partly a reflection of seasonal factors.

"Around 20 per cent of respondents from our area gave seasonal or climatic factors as the main reason for the drop in activity. And certainly it is true that the lowest rate previously recorded was also in the month of April, in 2003."

But Paul Winter said it was also clear that some manufacturers were struggling to deal with the high dollar, and the shortage of skilled labour. The impact of industrial action was also a factor.

"We need to be concerned at the fall in new orders, the drop in stocks of finished products and the lower deliveries of raw materials. These all suggest that a quick turnaround is unlikely," he said.

Paul Winter said that the survey results are a timely reminder in election year that political parties need to focus on providing the right environment for business growth.

"If we can improve the framework for business, there will be positive benefits across the economy," he said.

The April result of 47.9 (down from 51.5 in March) was the lowest recorded PMI (Performance of Manufacturing Index) result since the survey began in August 2002. Scores above 50 on the PMI indicate that activity is expanding, and those below 50 indicate a decline.

ENDS

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