To and Fro – PMI

16 Oct 2020




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Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

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New Zealand's manufacturing sector experienced a pick-up in expansion during September, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for September was 54.0 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was up 3.0 points from August.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that given what happened post the nationwide COVID lockdown, a boost in activity post the Auckland lockdown was not a surprise.

"September saw Auckland at level 2.5 or lower, which meant back to business for most manufacturers.  This saw the unadjusted regional activity level for the Northern region recovering from 41.2 in August to 50.6 in September".     

"All but one of the key sub-indices improved in September, including Employment (51.6), which showed expansion for the first time since February".  

BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel said that “although the September PMI pushed above its long-term average of 53.0, it should not be confused with above average activity levels. Rather, it indicates growth off the low base set earlier in the year. Growth has not yet been enough to recoup previous loses, but some progress is being made".

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Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Landscape
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Doug Steel

Senior Economist, BNZ


September’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) took a step in the right direction. It lifted to 54.0 from 51.0 in August.  Movement down COVID alert levels no doubt helped in the month, after growth nearly stalled amid August’s tighter restrictions.
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Some Belief

Employment was a heartening feature of September’s PMI. To be sure, the lift to 51.6 from 49.2 in August was not particularly large but it is the first time the PMI employment index has pushed into positive territory since February.
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Supply Side Considerations

In stark contrast to new orders, production, and employment pushing back above their respective long-term averages, the PMI inventory and deliveries indicators are subpar.
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General Pickup

Progress was quite widespread within the September survey with the unadjusted PMI above 50 for nearly all major industries (the exception being the catch all ‘other’ category).
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View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesSep
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 48.540.256.359.051.054.0
Employment 49.639.348.
New Orders50.640.958.167.354.258.1
Finished Stocks49.341.157.051.750.049.0

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BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

January 2018 – September 2020

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
1 Oct 2020


International PMI