Easing back – PMI

12 Mar 2021




Monthly Change


slower rate

View Catherine Beard's profile

Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

View profile

New Zealand's manufacturing sector saw a slower rate of expansion during February, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for February was 53.4 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was down 4.6 points from January.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the February result was more in line with the long term average of the PMI (53.0).

"The major sub-index values were all down from January, with Production (57.3) leading the way, followed by New Orders (56.2).  Both Employment (49.8) and Deliveries (47.6) remained in contraction, with the former reverting back to levels seen in December."

"Despite the PMI remaining in expansion, the proportion of those outlining negative comments stood at 54%, compared with 46% in January.  Given the second recent partial lockdown, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the sector over the next few months."

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert said that “supply issues were to the fore from respondents’ comments to February’s PMI survey.  Of those citing negative factors, supply rather than demand problems dominated, with frequent references to supply chains, shipping, freight, costs, and difficulties in finding suitable staff."

View the Time Series Data

Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Snapshot

View Craig Ebert's profile

Craig Ebert

Senior Economist, BNZ


With its 53.4 for February, the Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) slipped back to about average. This was after a strong January (58.0) and an unusually weak December (48.3).  Average was also the motto of the PMI’s 3-month running mean, with its 53.3 being very close to the long-term average of 53.0.
Read more

Supply issues

This left the deliveries of raw materials index as the laggard in the PMI.  At 47.6 in February this was the sixth month of the last seven in being below the 50 breakeven mark (versus a long term norm of 52.9).
Read more

Manufacturing sales

Nonetheless, as mentioned earlier, the production signals from the PMI remained upbeat through February.  Granted, this did not appear consistent with Tuesday’s December quarter manufacturing data.
Read more


New Zealand’s forestry sector has recovered strongly, post the lockdowns of autumn 2020. To be sure, wood and paper products comprise only 9% of total NZ manufacturing output (as per the GDP accounts), versus 31% for food, beverage and tobacco products.
Read more

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesFeb
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI
Employment 51.552.351.349.856.149.8
New Orders56.253.256.750.562.856.2
Finished Stocks53.549.359.545.352.951.2

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

January 2018 – February 2021

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
1 Mar 2021


International PMI