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NZ manufacturing expands in November after a 3-month lull

NZ manufacturing expands in November after a three-month lull

By Jason Krupp

Dec. 16 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand manufacturing shrugged off its three month lull in November, with all five indices moving into expansion.

The BNZ-Business NZ performance of manufacturing index rose to a seasonally adjusted 52.7, as firms were more upbeat about their future prospects, with employment at 50.7, new orders at 52.3, deliveries at 57.4, production at 55.4 and finished stocks at 51.3.

The survey's findings paint a rosier picture of the country's manufacturing outlook than the Reserve Bank's data on manufacturing for the September quarter which showed output had slumped 1.4% in the period.

The PMI findings "suggest the manufacturing sector has been hanging in there better than the quarterly manufacturing survey seems to indicate," said senior economist Craig Ebert, who wrote the report. "Its readings of late have been nowhere near the super-contraction levels experienced over late-2008 and the first half of 2009."

The PMI showed that all sub-industry groups had moved into expansion in November, with food, beverages and tobacco at 60.3, petroleum, coal, chemical & associated products at 61, metal product manufacturing at 63.2, machinery & equipment manufacturing at 63.9, while wood & paper product manufacturing moved out of contraction to expansion at 55.5.

Unadjusted results by region showed an improvement in activity levels for all regions, with Northland up 5.2 points to 61.5, the Central regions up 5.8 points to 60.6, Otago/Southland region up 12.3 points to 66, with Canterbury shrugging off the effect of the September earthquake, up 11.5 points to 61.

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Comments on market conditions showed the proportion of positive comments outnumbered negative comments for the first time in three months, at 53.1%.

The focus of the positive comments was mainly on the upcoming Christmas buying season, favourable exchange rates and good demand from Australia, while the negative comments focused on slow New Zealand market conditions, a quiet building sector and the strength of the kiwi dollar.


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