The latest survey of the manufacturing sector shows activity is contracting.
The BNZ Capital-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index decreased slightly during May to stand at a seasonally adjusted 42.7.
A reading below 50 indicates activity is shrinking.
The index is six points lower than it was in May last year.
BNZ Capital senior economist Craig Ebert says there had been some hope of a recovery in previous months.
Mr Ebert says the index is the second highest it has been since October 2008 but it is too early to predict when a recovery may emerge.
The food, beverage and tobacco sector expanded during May but almost all other manufacturing sub-groups contracted.