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Manufacturers on a roll

Media statement December 14th -

embargoed to Friday, December 15th, 2006

Manufacturers on a roll

Orders for manufacturers are booked solid for three months in some cases, with exports still rising despite the unfavourable exchange rate and capacity constraints, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) reports.

"Manufactured exports not counting processed meat, dairy, seafood and wood pulp products have surged past $14 billion a year and account now for 45 per cent of all exports of traded goods," said Bruce Goldsworthy, EMA's Manager of Manufacturing Services.

"The Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) for November shows how hot the sector is running; it reached 62.7 unadjusted and even after seasonal adjustment a healthy 55.4.

"Half the PMI's respondents are in Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Auckland and farther north, and their result was 63.1. (Above 50 indicates expansion; below 50 contraction).

"The economy is booming in Auckland and the north with an out turn even stronger at 66.8.

"New orders and production levels for the Auckland/Northern region were over 70!

"Since employment levels are more modest at 55, and despite capacity constraints, we think solid, non-inflationary productivity gains are being realized.

"But labour capacity constraints are preventing more orders being taken on. We hear tongue-in-cheek tales of exporters returning home to pleas from staff not to bring in any more orders.

"The expansion of 2006 sets a challenge to beat for Export Year 2007 with manufactured exports for the 12 months ended October (excluding processed dairy, meat, seafood, wool, and wood pulp) at $14,305 million, up 10 per cent.

"Exports of elaborately transformed manufactures topped $10 billion for the first time ($10,052 m), up 7.6 per cent, with manufactured commodities up 16.1 per cent to reach $4,253 million.

"Meat and meat product processing earned $5132 million, dairy product manufacturing $7088 million, seafood manufactures $1063 million, scoured wool $510 million, and wood pulp $595 million.

"Altogether manufactured exports earned $28,918 million, up 9.8 per cent. The figures for the October quarter are 15.7 per cent higher than for the same quarter in the previous year, indicating the growth should continue for some time."

ENDS

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