New orders boost – PMI

16 Apr 2021

63.6

March

+9.4

Monthly Change

expanding

faster rate

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Catherine Beard

Executive Director, ExportNZ & ManufacturingNZ

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New Zealand's manufacturing sector saw a strong boost in new orders and production during March, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for March was 63.6 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was up 9.4 points from February, and the highest monthly result since the survey began in 2002.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the March result was obviously a shot in the arm for the sector, although any single monthly movement needs to be treated with caution in the context of the current economic environment.

"The two major sub-index values of Production (66.8) and New Orders (72.5) were the main drivers of the March result, with the latter experiencing its first post 70-point value.  This does indicate a swift shift in demand over a relatively short time, which may indicate a move towards previously shelved projects and business ventures that have now been given the green light".

"Given the strong March result, the proportion of those outlining positive comments increased significantly from 46% in February to almost 58% in March.  Unsurprisingly, comments were centred towards increased demand, both domestically and offshore".

BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel noted that “more demand is one thing, but meeting it is another. Firms have faced many supply-side challenges. In this regard, it is interesting to see PMI deliveries of raw materials lifted strongly, to 62.8, this month. That coincides with other data showing imports leapt more than 17% above year earlier levels in March following prior weakness".

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Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Landscape
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Doug Steel

Senior Economist, BNZ

Ain't Seen Anything Like This Before

March’s Performance of Manufacturing Index was unquestionably strong. Indeed, at 63.6, it is the strongest result in the survey’s history dating back to 2002. It is so strong that one immediately wonders if it is some sort of data quirk. But that is not obvious.
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Demand

Demand has lifted strongly. Precision on the reasons why changes occur is always difficult but more construction activity, a buoyant primary sector, increased government activity, movement toward domestic sourcing, and improving external demand were all understandably mentioned by respondents.
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Supply Issues

More demand is one thing, but meeting it is another. Firms have faced many supply-side challenges. In this regard, it is interesting to see PMI deliveries of raw materials lifted strongly, to 62.8, this month. That coincides with other data showing imports leapt more than 17% above year earlier levels in March following prior weakness.
Read more

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesMar
2020
Nov
2020
Dec
2020
Jan
2021
Feb
2021
Mar
2021
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 38.155.148.457.454.263.6
Production31.255.252.559.758.466.8
Employment 44.951.249.956.250.253.5
New Orders37.856.950.561.658.072.5
Finished Stocks44.659.545.253.151.655.4
Deliveries40.151.544.948.948.162.8

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BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

July 2016 – March 2021

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
1 Apr 2021

55.0

International PMI