26 Nov 2012

Manufacturing sector productivity picks up

10:42 pm on 26 November 2012

Productivity improvements in the manufacturing sector have outpaced those in the rest of the New Zealand economy since the global financial crisis.

However, analysis by the Reserve Bank also found that, unlike most parts of the economy, manufacturing is yet to get back to its pre-financial crisis production levels.

The central bank's analysis shows manufacturing activity fell during the recession as firms cut back hours and workers sharply.

Production remains 9% below its pre-recession peak, while the rest of the economy surpassed its pre-recession output by the end of 2011.

The bank says the increase in manufacturing production since the recession has not been matched by higher employment or hours worked.

As a result, productivity for manufacturing workers continued to increase while for workers in other sectors it has flatlined.

The bank says the outlook for manufacturing output is also looking up.

It says with 60% of their production sold locally, and much of that to the construction sector, manufacturers are set for a major boost from the rebuilding of Christchurch.