Moderate May – PMI

15 Jun 2018




Monthly Change


slower rate

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Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

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New Zealand's level of manufacturing expansion in May came back down to more steady levels of expansion, according to the BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for May was 54.5 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was 4.6 points lower than April, but still the third highest result over the last six months.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that while May softened in terms of expansion, the fundamentals behind the main result look solid for now.

"Despite the sub index of employment (49.8) dipping slightly into contraction, the remaining sub-indexes stayed in expansion.  In addition, the proportion of positive comments in May (55.1%) was the same as March (55.1%), and up on February (51.4%) and January (50.7%).  Those who provided positive comments typically noted steady demand and work flow, with some new markets being sought after".   

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert said that "May's PMI cemented the idea of a moderating rate of expansion in the manufacturing sector, compared to calendar 2017.  Then again, above average is above average, which is encouraging".

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Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Snapshot

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Craig Ebert

Senior Economist, BNZ


Having roared to a high level in April (59.1), New Zealand’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) fell back to just above average in May, with 54.5. This harnessed it more in line with its average over the Jan-Mar quarter.
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The notion of robustness was certainly parlayed in March quarter manufacturing sales. These proved strong, increasing a seasonally adjusted 1.4%, in volume terms (and this was even after their December quarter increase was revised up to 1.5%, from 1.0%).
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In support of ongoing expansion in manufacturing output, there are clear indications that inventory is under control in the industry. This means demand is more likely to be met with a production response, rather than just taken out of over-stocked shelves in the first instance.
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While May’s PMI of 54.5 looked fine, it harboured an abrupt stalling in its employment index. This slumped to 49.8, from 54.5 in April. To be sure, this is a jumpy series at the best of times.
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View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesMay
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 57.855.153.453.159.154.5
Employment 55.552.754.653.254.549.8
New Orders59.655.554.454.760.256.7
Finished Stocks55.752.951.454.355.251.8

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

January 2018 – May 2018

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
1 Jun 2018


International PMI