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Domestic sales fall, exports stay positive

Domestic sales fall, exports stay positive - 29 August

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The latest New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) Survey of Business Conditions completed during August 2014, shows total sales in July 2014 decreased 8.07% (year on year export sales increased by 12.03% with domestic sales decreasing 27.48%) on July 2013.

The NZMEA survey sample this month covered NZ$400m in annualised sales, with an export content of 60%.

Net confidence was at 0, down from 8 in our survey last month.

The current performance index (a combination of profitability and cash flow) is at 96, slightly down from 97 last month, the change index (capacity utilisation, staff levels, orders and inventories) was at 100, up from 99 in the last survey, and the forecast index (investment, sales, profitability and staff) is at 102.83, up on the last result of 102.5. Anything less than 100 indicates a contraction.

Constraints reported were 55% markets, 36% production capacity and 9% skilled staff.

Net 18% of firms reported a modest rise in productivity for July.

Staff numbers for July increased year on year by 2.18%.

Tradespersons, operators/labourers, supervisors, managers and professional/scientists all reported a moderate shortage.

"Domestic sales struggled in July off the back of a very positive result last survey, while exports fell back from recent months but remained in positive territory,” says NZMEA chief executive John Walley.

“Confidence fell again this survey, indexes remained mixed and constraints showed increasing pressure on production capacity but an easing off on the market constraint from last month’s high. Total turnover decreased for July, but comments were generally more positive than last month - the high currency and finding staff were among the top issues reported.”

“This month saw another major loss to New Zealand industry, with Croxley feeling the pressure of changing consumption patterns and an overvalued currency as too big an investment mountain and decided manufacturing was too hard in New Zealand, potentially losing 100 jobs.”

“The Treasury released their Pre-Election update last week, which generally was very similar to what we saw in the Budget forecasts. Perhaps the most significant change since the Budget was the current account deficit, which is forecast to increase more than previously expected in the coming years, reaching 4.8% of GDP in 2015, up to 6.4% in 2017.”

“This widening in the current account deficit is a major concern going forward.”

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