Keeping head above water – PMI

17 May 2019




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Catherine Beard

Executive Director, ExportNZ & ManufacturingNZ

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New Zealand's manufacturing sector experienced an increase in expansion for April, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for April was 53.0 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was 1 point up from March, and close to the value experienced in January.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that while the improvement in activity for April was welcome, the underlying trend still remains a concern.

"Seasonally adjusted values over the last 6-7 months have remained static between the 52-54 mark range.  Although this indicates the sector is still in expansion mode, the unadjusted series has tended to trend down since late 2017.  If this trend continues, it will eventually have negative consequences for the main published result".

Despite the slight lift in expansion levels, the proportion of positive comments for April (48.9%) fell back from March (52.6%) and February (51.6%).  Negative comments outlined a lack of orders and customer demand, along with seasonal factors, including Easter.

BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel said that “the headline PMI looks reasonable but some of the details have cooled off including new orders. It raises questions for those looking for a strong growth pickup later in 2019”.

View the Time Series Data

Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Landscape
View Doug Steel's profile

Doug Steel

Senior Economist, BNZ

Almost Normal

We were wondering if April’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) would take a holiday hit.  After all, the proximity of Easter, ANZAC day, and school holidays this year had the makings for a few more people than normal to take an extended period off work. But even if that happened, there was little sign that it took much toll on the PMI – at least at the headline level.
Read more

Demand Slower; Inventories Contained

The PMI production component sat at a subdued 50.8 in April. This may have been affected by the unusual timing of holidays, but it’s not clear given that it was virtually unchanged from March.
Read more


Employment continues to track above average.  Yes it slowed slightly to 51.6 from 52.0, but it remains comfortably above its long term average of 50.7.
Read more

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesApr
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 59.054.752.953.452.053.0
Employment 53.952.152.050.852.051.6
New Orders59.455.352.254.652.752.4
Finished Stocks55.759.554.654.352.751.9

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

July 2016 – April 2019

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
2 May 2019


International PMI