Heavy labour – PMI

13 Aug 2021




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Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

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Expansion in New Zealand's manufacturing sector lifted again in July to record its second highest result, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for July was 62.6 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was 1.7 points higher than June, and only below the 63.6 recorded in March over the history of the survey.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that "this was the third time in five months that the PMI posted a result over 60.0.  While the key sub-index values of Production (66.0) and New Orders (65.0) both showed further expansion from June, Employment (58.3) recorded its highest ever result over the history of the survey."

"Despite the second highest result for overall activity, the proportion of negative comments (51.4%) still remained higher than positive ones (48.6%).  Increased orders - both domestically and overseas - was the most common factor for those who outlined positive comments.  In contrast, the increasingly tight labour market was mentioned by many manufacturers who provided negative comments.  Supply chain issues and raw material costs were also outlined as problematic."

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert stated that "while New Zealand’s PMI is doing exceptionally well, we are also conscious of the headwinds happening for global manufacturing.  This is on account of the resurgence of COVID19 in its delta strain."

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Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Snapshot

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Craig Ebert

Senior Economist, BNZ


The latest Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) portrayed an industry champing at the bit. Not content with its very high reading of 60.9 for June it pressed up to 62.6 in July. Only twice before has it been speedier – once in March 2021, when it hit a record high of 63.6, and once back in June 2004 (with 62.8).
Read more

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

But if there’s a hottest topic of the economy at present it is arguably the labour market. Figures released by Stats NZ last week certainly highlighted a lot of heat, with a drop in the nation’s unemployment rate to 4.0% in Q2, from 4.6% in Q1.  With this, wage inflation was clearly picking up.
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Industries on a bounce

Driving the increase in the PMI in July were a few industries that were dragging the chain in June; in a relative rather than absolute sense, that is.
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It's all Greek (letters) to us

While New Zealand’s PMI is doing exceptionally well, we are also conscious of the headwinds happening for global manufacturing. This is on account of the resurgence of COVID19 in its delta strain.
Read more

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesJul
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 59.163.658.358.760.962.6
Employment 46.753.552.852.356.758.3
New Orders67.572.260.963.663.665.0
Finished Stocks51.555.255.053.757.456.9

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

January 2018 – July 2021

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
2 Aug 2021


International PMI