BNZ economist Doug Steel says the manufacturing sector has hit a bump in the road, contracting for the second consecutive month.
The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index fell one point in August, to 49.3.
A reading below 50 indicates the sector is contracting and the index is now only slightly above where it was this time last year.
Mr Steel says the manufacturing sector has lost the momentum it gained earlier this year, though he expects post-earthquake rebuilding and robust economic growth across the Tasman to eventually inject some much-needed energy into it.
Employment expanded during August, but at a slower pace than in previous months. The new orders index fell to a 15-month low.