North vs South – PMI

15 Oct 2021




Monthly Change


previously contracting

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Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

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New Zealand's manufacturing sector saw an overall return to expansion for September, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for September was 51.4 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was 11.7 points higher than August, but still someway off levels of expansion typically seen pre-lockdown.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that while the positive national result for September was encouraging, it masked a few underlying issues.

"Prior to the lockdown, the PMI averaged close to 60 since the start of 2021, which means expansion has some way to go before getting back to what was seen during the first half of the year.  Also, there is currently a clear difference between the two islands with the North Island still in contraction, while the South Island has swiftly returned to levels of expansion seen pre-August."

"In addition, the proportion of negative comments from respondents remains high at 71%, although slightly down from the 78% recorded in August."

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert stated that “the rebound the PMI experienced in September was encouraging, although the survey is not without some still‐frayed parts.  Credit where it’s due though, as the NZ PMI traced much less of a contraction, and quicker stabilisation, compared to what it went through during the initial outbreak of COVID‐19."

View the Time Series Data

Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Snapshot

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Craig Ebert

Senior Economist, BNZ


The Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) rebounded to an expansive 51.4 in September, from the 39.7 level it dipped to in August. Generally speaking, that’s encouraging – although the survey is not without some still‐frayed parts.
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Diverse dynamics

Still, not all in the latest PMI was positive. To be sure, new orders were almost back to “normal” with a reading of 54.3 in September. And the employment index remained well above its long‐term average of 50.6, with a 54.4.
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North versus South

The other reason to be a little guarded about the PMI’s latest index reading is that the clear majority of respondents’ comments this month had a negative skew. These were, unsurprisingly, dominated by references to the COVIDwrought lockdowns, with Auckland’s situation lamented by firms right across the country.
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QSBO comparison

As for last week’s NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion (QSBO), this showed a relatively resilient tone amongst manufacturers. Production was expanding, and expectations around exports were upbeat.
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View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesSep
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 53.758.359.862.439.751.4
Employment 51.452.456.457.754.354.5
New Orders57.363.562.763.244.154.3
Finished Stocks50.153.156.956.445.950.1

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

January 2018 – September 2021

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
1 Oct 2021


International PMI