Growth in the manufacturing sector has stalled following almost a year of expansion.
Business New Zealand's monthly manufacturing survey recorded the first fall in overall activity in 10 months in July.
The index fell six points from June to 49.9. A reading above 50 indicates growth, while a reading below indicates contraction. Activity in all regions, except Central, experienced a decline.
Employment, production and stock levels were unchanged or down slightly, but that may be short-lived, given the biggest slump in new orders since May last year.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar is weakening on the back of steep falls on global sharemarkets due to fears over much slower world growth.
Late on Thursday afternoon, the Kiwi was trading at 71.13 US cents, and 79.25 Australian cents.