Boost in April – PMI

11 May 2018




Monthly Change


faster rate

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Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

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New Zealand's level of manufacturing expansion experienced a boost in April, according to the BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for April was 58.9 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was 5.8 points higher than March, and the highest level of expansion since January 2016.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the sizeable pick up in expansion is welcome, especially given the overall activity results for the past four months.

"The fact that the sub-indexes of production, new orders and deliveries of raw materials were all around the 60-point mark helped the overall result.  Also, the proportion of positive comments in April (58.5%) has continued its upwards trajectory compared with March (55.1%), February (51.4%) and January (50.7%).  Those who provided positive comments typically noted a lift in construction, as well as a pick-up in offshore orders."   

"Although April represents a good result for the sector, the key will be to continue the expansion momentum over the coming months."

BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel said that "it’s a move from so-so to outright strong. Of course, we wouldn’t want to over interpret one month’s result especially as it may have been, in part, artificially boosted by the timing of Easter. But, in the least, April’s result suggests the economy has not fallen off the rails".

View the Time Series Data

Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Snapshot

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Doug Steel

Senior Economist, BNZ


The Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) looked a bit weak early in 2018, especially in comparison to its hearty pulse through 2017. We thought, at the time, the early-2018 slowdown may prove temporary – a view strongly supported by April’s hefty result.
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Building Up

April’s PMI strength follows another lurch higher in residential building consents after a period of consolidation at a high level.
Read more

Primary Processing Placid

In April, the food, beverage, and tobacco PMI posted its fourth consecutive (unadjusted) monthly reading with a 53 handle. This is a marked slowdown from last year’s average of 61.
Read more


The PMI employment index has remained solid during the recent slower readings in the likes of production and orders. Indeed, the ongoing firmness in employment has been one factor behind us keeping a generally positive outlook despite the cooling in other areas.
Read more

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesApr
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 56.451.055.253.453.158.9
Employment 52.951.652.754.753.454.9
New Orders59.649.855.454.354.360.3
Finished Stocks53.451.953.051.554.355.2

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

January 2018 – April 2018

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
2 May 2018


International PMI