Back in black – PMI

15 Nov 2019




Monthly Change


faster rate

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Catherine Beard

Executive Director, ExportNZ & ManufacturingNZ

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New Zealand's manufacturing sector displayed expansion for the first time since June, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for October was 52.6 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was the highest level of activity since April 2019.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the October result was a welcome change from three consecutive months in contraction.

"The sub-index of new orders (56.2) continued its recovery to record its highest value since May 2018, while production (52.6) produced its highest result since February 2019.  Employment (50.2) was all but unchanged from the previous month, while finished stocks (48.5) was the only sub-index to remain in contraction for October, as well as at its lowest level since February 2014.

"After a five month period of both lacklustre and negative growth, the pick-up in both new orders and production put the sector back on track.  If the remaining two months for 2019 are to keep up the momentum, it is important these key sub-indexes remain positive to finish the year on a more upbeat note.  

Given the pick-up in activity, the proportion of positive comments for October (57.6%) was higher than September (48.8%).  A number mentioned seasonal factors influencing activity, as well as some outlining a general market increase.

BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel said that “the October PMI is hardly what you would call strong. But it is certainly much better than the previous three months where the index languished below 50 which indicated a sector going backwards”.

View the Time Series Data

Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Landscape
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Doug Steel

Senior Economist, BNZ


October brought some much needed relief to the manufacturing sector with the Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) jumping back into expansion mode. There were widespread gains across various segments including regions, industries, and firm sizes.
Read more

Demand Improves

The new orders index rose strongly to its highest level in 18 months and has pushed above its long term average for the first time this year. And even with a decent pick up in production in the month, inventory reduction has quickened.
Read more

Buoyant Construction Activity

Construction activity is important for many manufacturers. So another push to higher highs for residential building consents bodes well for demand in the near future.
Read more

GDP Implications

October’s PMI outcome raises the prospect of the manufacturing sector’s recent negative influence on economic growth coming to an end in the final quarter of the year.
Read more

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesOct
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI
Employment 52.547.742.
New Orders56.152.649.145.150.956.2
Finished Stocks53.857.052.752.449.048.5

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

July 2016 – October 2019

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
4 Nov 2019


International PMI