Survey: New Zealand’s manufacturing sector expands in July

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The BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) reported an expansion for New Zealand’s manufacturing sector in July. 

The seasonally adjusted PMI for July was 52.7 per cent, a 2.7-point uptick from the previous month’s result but still below the long-term average of 53.1 for the survey, according to BusinessNZ. A PMI reading above 50 points indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding, the organisation said in the statement issued Friday. 

Catherine Beard, director of BusinessNZ, noted that while a return to expansion in the country’s manufacturing sector was a positive step forward, the numbers behind the headline figure continue to indicate the industry’s struggles to gain traction. 

“The key sub-index values of Production (49.0) and New Orders (50.5) both improved from June, although the former was still in contraction.  While Employment (52.6) rose 1.3 points from June, both Finished Stocks (49.4) and Deliveries (49.4) were in contraction,” Beard said. 

Additionally, manufacturers have continued to have a more negative mindset, with the July result showing 62.1 per cent providing negative comments. 

“Although this was down from 68.5% recorded in June, staff retention/shortages and supply chain issues continue to show a strong presence,” the organisation said in the media release. 

BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel stated that “despite the increase in July, the PMI remains shy of its long-term average of 53.1 as it has done so for four consecutive months now. Over that period, the PMI has also shown something of a saw-tooth pattern providing no clear sign of acceleration or deceleration.”