Uncertain Times – PMI

16 Feb 2018




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Catherine Beard

Executive Director, ExportNZ & ManufacturingNZ

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New Zealand's level of manufacturing expansion rose in January after experiencing lower expansion for the previous month, according to the BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for January was 55.6 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was 4.5 points higher than December, although it did not see a return to levels of expansion typically seen during 2017.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that while it was positive to see the PMI rebound somewhat after a sizeable drop in expansion during December, comments from manufacturers provide another angle to the story.

"The proportion of positive comments in January (50.7%) was down by a fair margin compared with December (63.3%) and November (65.1%).  While seasonal factors such as Christmas and holidays are typically mentioned around this time of year, those outlining negative comments have also focussed on recent uncertainty that has led to softening activity and a slow start to the year for some".

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert said that "while the NZ PMI has led the world for the last 5 years, the global PMI has now pretty much caught up.  This suggests the international investment cycle is clicking into place and promises to self-sustain the global economic expansion.  This should be good for manufacturing industries, New Zealand included".

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Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Landscape
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Craig Ebert

Senior Economist, BNZ


Like a professional footballer, New Zealand’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) has recovered remarkably well after taking a dive. The dive, of course, was to a barely-expansive level of 51.1 in December, after riding high in November, at 57.6.
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Local manufacturers didn’t seem to have the luxury of deferring decisions on hiring labour, however. The employment index of the PMI pressed forth at 52.5 in January.
Read more


While January’s PMI outturn is obviously encouraging we remain conscious of vulnerabilities on the food processing side of things. This, in turn, relates to the weather.
Read more


While the NZ PMI has led the world for the last 5 years or so, the global PMI has now pretty much caught up. The latter was a seasonally adjusted 54.4 in January – hardly different to the 54.5 result of December, which was, in fact, the swiftest since 2011.
Read more

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesJan
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 53.457.757.357.651.155.6
Employment 51.650.651.354.351.552.5
New Orders54.460.659.757.149.755.6
Finished Stocks51.655.254.756.552.153.1

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

July 2016 – January 2018

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
1 Feb 2018


International PMI