13 Oct 2017

Manufacturing industry steady in September

12:56 pm on 13 October 2017

Activity in the manufacturing sector remains steady, but employment has fallen.

Q-West Boat Builders welding fabricator Grant Loveridge works on a new ferry for the Auckland market.

Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The BNZ-BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index fell slightly in September, down 0.4 points to 57.5 compared to last month. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Employment and production fell, but new orders, finished stocks and deliveries made gains.

The survey suggests despite political uncertainty, the sector has continued with business as usual.

BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert said it was "tempting" to see the fall in employment as manufacturers holding off hiring until there was news of the next government, but the index had in fact been very volatile in the last six months.

"The manufacturing industry would seem to be forging ahead quite nicely," he said.

"This was definitely the message in the PMI's production index for September, while the tone from its new orders index remained relatively upbeat too," he said.

A similar survey for the services sector is released next week.

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