Calm before the storm? – PMI

13 Mar 2020




Monthly Change


previously contracting

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Catherine Beard

Executive Director, ExportNZ & ManufacturingNZ

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New Zealand's manufacturing sector experienced expansion for the first time in three months, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for February was 53.2 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was up 3.4 points from January.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that despite the positive February result, much focus will be on the coming months given the effect Covid-19 is having on the global economy.

"Looking at comments from respondents, there was a noticeable increase in Covid-19 being mentioned, either directly or through the impact on shipping from China.  Even those who made positive comments tempered it with concerns about the months ahead".   

"While the sector has not been hit hard by Covid-19 as yet, offshore experiences show how rapidly the situation can change, especially for those manufacturers who source materials offshore and cater for particular markets".  

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert said that “The most encouraging aspect of the PMI – considering the global ructions beginning to emerge in February – was arguably its new orders.  These gained to 55.3, from 50.9 in January. And with widespread reports of supply-chain disruptions around the world, it was also interesting to see the PMI’s Deliveries of Raw Materials index had picked up to 53.1, from 47.7".

View the Time Series Data

Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Landscape
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Craig Ebert

Senior Economist, BNZ


Who would have guessed? New Zealand’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) rose to 53.2 in February, from 49.8 in January. This puts it essentially at its long-term average. This was broadly true of all the principal components as well.
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Further Details

By industry, the only one that was below the 50-breakeven mark in February was Textiles, Clothing, Footwear and Leather (although note these indices are not seasonally adjusted). The category containing Food and Beverages had its own good news, in that it nudged up to 51.4, from 46.0 in January, even with drought making its presence felt in many parts of the country.
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The global malaise was clearly pinpointed in China’s PMI for February. At 35.7, from 50.0 in January, it proved far worse than the market was bracing for. While there are early signs that China’s economic activity is beginning to recover, the focus is now shifting to other parts of the world – notably Europe and the United States – where COVID-19 infections are taking hold.
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View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesFeb
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 52.752.651.249.549.853.2
Employment 50.049.949.049.747.150.6
New Orders53.755.953.850.750.955.3
Finished Stocks54.548.949.752.950.752.5

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BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

July 2016 – February 2020

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
2 Mar 2020


International PMI