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NZ manufacturing growth stalls in June quarter

NZ manufacturing growth stalls in June quarter as meat, dairy slip

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 8 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand manufacturing sales volumes shrank in the second three months of the year as milk and meat production declined.

The volume of total manufacturing fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in the three months ended June 30, while the value of manufacturing sales shrank 1.9 percent over the same period, according to Statistics New Zealand's economic survey of manufacturing. The decline was led by a 1.4 percent fall in the volume of meat and dairy product manufacturing, and a 5.7 percent drop in the value of meat and dairy products. Stripping out those primary goods, manufacturing volumes edged up 0.1 percent in the quarter, while values slipped 0.2 percent.

"Today’s Economic Survey of Manufacturing was in line with our expectations of a small increase in ex-primary manufacturing production volumes in Q2," ASB Bank economist Christina Leung said in a note. "Recent manufacturing confidence surveys had already pointed to a moderation in ex-primary manufacturing activity over the quarter."

The BNZ-Business NZ performance of manufacturing index slipped in July, while remaining in expansion for a 22nd month, as the manufacturing sector remains resilient in the face of a strong New Zealand dollar, which erodes the value of export income.

Today's government figures showed the volume of chemical, polymer and rubber products manufacturing shrank 3 percent and values dropped 4.4 percent in the quarter, while beverage and tobacco product volumes fell 3.2 percent and values fell 2.3 percent.

Petroleum and coal product manufacturing rose 2.4 percent in volume terms, and was up 1.7 percent in value terms.

In unadjusted terms, the value of manufacturing rose 8.1 percent to $24.6 billion in the June quarter from the same period a year earlier, while the volume of total manufacturing was up 5.6 percent.

The value of raw materials was up 4.4 percent at the end of the quarter at $3.93 billion from June 2013, and the value of finished goods rose 4.5 percent at $10.44 billion. In volume terms, finished stocks were up 0.8 percent from a year earlier.

(BusinessDesk)

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