Blooming good – PMI

13 Oct 2016




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Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

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Activity in New Zealand's manufacturing sector picked up in September, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for September was 57.7 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was 2.5 points up from August, and the highest level of activity in the sector since January this year.  The sector remains solidly in expansion in almost all months since October 2012.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the lift in expansion levels was welcome after two consecutive months of softening expansion.

"The two key sub-indices of production (61.3) and new orders (60.9) returned to post-60 point values, while employment (50.3) moved back into slight expansion mode after showing contraction in August".  

"The overall improvement in expansion levels was mirrored by the proportion of positive comments increasing to 63.8% in September, compared with 58.4% for August.  A number of positive comments again centered on preparation for the summer/Xmas season, while international orders continued to hold up relatively well".

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert, said that "while the PMI kicked back up, the details of the survey again highlighted some fraying at the edges. This was not so noticeable by region anymore, but large firms (45.0) were more clearly lagging the impetus that relatively smaller firms maintained in September".

View the Time Series Data

Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Landscape
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Craig Ebert

Senior Economist, BNZ


Peak, what peak? New Zealand's Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) kicked back up to a seasonally adjusted 57.7 in September, having slowed to 55.2 in August.
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Domestic Demand

The export-flavoured Food and Beverage component of the PMI stayed strong in September, at 66.2. However, the NZ PMI, broadly speaking, doesn't have a breakdown of domestically-focussed versus export activity amongst manufacturers. But the NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion (QSBO) does.
Read more  


It was also encouraging to see a bounce-back in the jobs index of the PMI. Recall that it slumped to a seasonally adjusted reading of 47.7 in August, from 54.4 in July.
Read more  

Capacity Utilisation

Robust demand for staff in the manufacturing industry gels with the signals from the QSBO that it's getting more difficult to find them – whether skilled or unskilled.
Read more .

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National Indicies Sep
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 54.557.157.655.655.257.7
Employment 51.753.353.554.147.150.3
New Orders56.860.061.458.259.360.9
Finished Stocks51.649.950.549.551.654.5

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

January 2018 – September 2016

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
3 Oct 2016


International PMI