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Manufacturing Activity Picks Up

Media release
15 September 2005

Manufacturing Activity Picks Up

Manufacturing activity showed expansion for August, after a period of small declines according to the ANZ-Business Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The PMI for August showed a value of 53.1, up from 48.2 in July, and the strongest level of activity since February. Scores above 50 indicate that activity is expanding; below 50 indicate a decline.

The 2005 result for August was towards the bottom end of the four values so far recorded for August, and well below the 58.8 recorded in August 2004.

All regions except the Canterbury/Westland region experienced an increase in activity during August, led by a strong result from Otago/Southland (60.9). Both the Northern (54.0) and Central (51.3) regions displayed moderate levels of expansion, while the Canterbury/Westland region (47.6) recorded its strongest level of decline since the survey began.

The Deliveries (55.4) sub-index recorded the strongest level of expansion during August for the first time since December 2003, while the remaining sub-indexes displayed relatively similar levels of expansion, with Employment (50.5) recording the lowest value.

Comments from manufacturers during August were similar to previous months, with the persistent high New Zealand dollar and skills shortages affecting activity. There was still the view that the economy was definitely slowing, causing a drop in orders. The coming months tend to show a pick up in activity as the build up for the Christmas period takes place, so future results will provide an indication of how strongly the slowdown continues to affect manufacturers.


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