13 Jun 2009

Manufacturing sector continues to struggle

9:37 am on 13 June 2009

An index of manufacturing performance has shown the sector continuing to struggle during the recession.

The BNZ Capital-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index decreased slightly to a seasonally adjusted 42.7 in May.

A reading below 50 indicates activity is shrinking.

Apart from a result of 38.6 in February, the index has moved only 1.7 points since December.

BNZ Capital senior economist Craig Ebert says he suspects some recovery is underway, but cannot speculate about how soon or how strong it will be.

Mr Ebert says food production is holding up well, though the produce is receiving lower prices, while non-food sectors are taking a bigger battering.

He says the rising New Zealand dollar is causing concern, but manufacturing worldwide is stabilising.