Meandering March – PMI

12 Apr 2019

51.9

March

-1.5

Monthly Change

expanding

slower rate

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Catherine Beard

Executive Director,, ExportNZ & ManufacturingNZ

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New Zealand's manufacturing sector experienced decreased levels of expansion for March, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for March was 51.9 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 1.5 points down from February, and the lowest level of activity since July 2018.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the slow level of expansion for March meant the first quarter of 2019 averaged out at 52.7, which was below the long run average of 53.4 for the survey.

Looking at the main sub-index values, both production (51.4) and new orders (52.5) both dropped from February.  However, employment (51.9) did pick up slightly - the only sub-index to improve from February.

Despite the dip in expansion levels, the proportion of positive comments for March (52.6%) was up on both February (51.6%) and January (47.7%).  Both positive and negative comments did not identify a clear major influence, which generally summed up the low but steady level of activity for the sector.

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert said that “slow as it might appear, New Zealand’s PMI of 51.9 in March was certainly doing well in a global context. Of all the deceleration that has occurred in the world economy over the last 6-12 months, manufacturing has been at the forefront”.

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Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Landscape
View Craig Ebert's profile

Craig Ebert

Senior Economist, BNZ

The PMI

Depending on your perspective, NZ’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) was either doing it tough in March or toughing it out relatively well.
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QSBO

That New Zealand’s manufacturing industry was toughing it out, was also the memo from the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion (QSBO). Sure, it found manufacturers decidedly downbeat about the general economic outlook. However, when it came to own-activity, the QSBO showed manufacturing more mixed than it was negative.
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Capacity/Pricing

QSBO indicators on manufacturing capacity and inflation were also mixed. For the NZIER measure of capacity utilisation, CUBO, it came off the boil a bit further in Q1 – although at 90.9% was still above average.
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Global

Slow as it might appear, New Zealand’s PMI of 51.9 in March was certainly doing well in a global context. Of all the deceleration that has occurred in the world economy over the last 6-12 months, manufacturing has been at the forefront.
Read more

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesMar
2018
Nov
2018
Dec
2018
Jan
2019
Feb
2019
Mar
2019
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 53.753.454.752.953.451.9
Production53.151.654.750.953.651.4
Employment 52.751.252.152.050.851.9
New Orders54.956.055.252.054.452.5
Finished Stocks54.654.659.454.555.053.1
Deliveries54.953.358.653.854.952.3

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

July 2014 – March 2019

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
1 Apr 2019

50.6

International PMI