Wheels keep turning – PMI

14 May 2021




Monthly Change


slower rate

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Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

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New Zealand's manufacturing sector continued in expansion mode during April, according to the latest BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for April was 58.4 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  While this was 5.2 points down from March, it was still the second highest result since July 2020 when New Zealand came out of lockdown.

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the April result was another positive outcome for the sector.  Despite the lower level of expansion in comparison with March, it would have been surprising if the April result had shown even higher expansion levels.

"The two major sub-index values of Production (64.5) and New Orders (60.9) continued to be the main drivers of the April result, with the latter coming off its historic level of expansion.  Both Employment (52.7) and Finished Stocks (55.2) remained at similar levels to March, while Deliveries of Raw Materials (52.4) decreased 10.6 points".

"Given the lower level of expansion for the current month, the proportion of those outlining positive comments decreased from 58% in March to 53.2% in April.  Comments continued to outline demand side influences, with increased enquiries and orders".

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert stated that “firms’ commentary to April’s PMI noted improving conditions internationally, in addition to many global PMIs clearly pointing to economic activity expanding strongly in significant portions of the world right now".

View the Time Series Data

Main Indicies

Regional Results

Manufacturing Landscape
View Craig Ebert's profile

Craig Ebert

Senior Economist, BNZ


At 58.4 in April, the Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) remained relatively racy.  Not as fast as it was in March, with its 63.6 – but that was a local land speed record.
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Supply issues

With this detail, April’s PMI gave the impression of supply side expansion now occurring in the manufacturing sector (after a period of September 2020 to February 2021, when this wasn’t at all obvious).  However, it’s all relative with signs also from the PMI that supply is still not keeping pace with demand.
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One of the positive themes that came through in April’s feedback to the PMI was the building industry. This accords with the recent indicators of construction activity.
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Global rebound

Firms’ commentary to April’s PMI also noted improving conditions internationally, including explicit mention of the United States. The US has certainly been printing some very strong PMI results over the last few months.
Read more

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

PMI Time Series Table

The results are seasonally adjusted.

National IndiciesApr
BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI 26.348.357.554.463.658.4
Employment 41.949.856.250.353.652.7
New Orders18.750.361.457.872.360.9
Finished Stocks37.

View the Time Series Data

BNZ - BusinessNZ PMI Time Series

January 2018 – April 2021

PMI Time Series Graph

International Results

J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMITM
3 May 2021


International PMI