15 Dec 2016

Manufacturing sector activity slows to 13-month low

4:32 pm on 15 December 2016

Activity in the manufacturing sector has slowed to a 13-month low, but remains firmly in expansion.

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Manufacturing sector activity has slowed for the second time in two months. Photo: 123rf.com

The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 points to 54.4 in November when compared with October.

A reading over 50 indicates expansion.

Today's result marked the lowest level of expansion since October last year and was the second consecutive monthly fall.

Employment dipped below 50 into contraction level, while production stayed steady.

New orders rose from the month before.

BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert said the long-term prospects for the sector were still upbeat.

"November's earthquakes will obviously disrupt and displace some business activity. But they will also reinforce the amount of construction that needs to be carried out," he said.

Mr Ebert said it was interesting that of all the responses, only two highlighted the earthquakes as a negative factor - but more thought construction was a positive influence on business activity.