Glimmers of hope displayed by manufacturing sector

Glimmers of hope displayed by manufacturing sector

A latest survey has suggested that though last month, the contraction was at its slowest rate since September, still the manufacturing activity continues to shrink in New Zealand.

A seasonally adjusted reading of 43.7 for its performance of manufacturing index was included in the BNZ Capital -- Business NZ April survey of the manufacturing sector.

Though that is higher 1.8 points from March, however it is still 7 points under the previous lowest April figure. It should be noted that any reading below 50 indicates activity is contracting.

It was put forward by BNZ Capital senior economist Craig Ebert that the survey displayed encouraging trends.

Though contraction was displayed by all five of the main sub-indices in the April survey, published today; however four of them improved too.

For the first time since December, production at 42.7 was above 40 for the first time and further improvement was seen in employment by 0.8 points from March to 44.8, new orders were up to 42.8, and deliveries of raw materials lifted to 43.6 to be at the same level as in December.

A plunge in finished sticks was seen by 1.3 points to 46.3, the lowest level since the survey started.

It should be mentioned that though nearly all manufacturing industry sub-groups showed contraction during April, but most had some improvement from March.

Textile, clothing, footwear and leather manufacturing on 38.4, wood and paper product manufacturing on 38.8, and petroleum, coal, chemical and associated products on 40.3, were the sub-groups with lowest results for April.

On the other hand, the food, beverage and tobacco sector improved to show expansion in April with a reading of 54.3.