11 Aug 2011

Manufacturing increases, though at a slower rate

1:21 pm on 11 August 2011

The latest Business New Zealand-BNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index says those selling to Australia remain particularly positive.

Production in July was at a higher level than a year ago although the pace of expansion eased for the third consecutive month.

The index stood at 53.2, down from its recent high of 55.2 in May. A number above 50 indicates expansion.

New orders increased and remained higher than a year ago, but they too were at their slowest pace in three months.

There were signs that workforces are being increasingly stretched as hiring indicators rose for the third month in a row.

BNZ economist Doug Steel says the results were encouraging given the surge in the New Zealand dollar in July.

Survey respondents selling to New Zealand's biggest market, Australia, were uniformly positive, which Mr Steel says reflects the lower exchange rate with the Australian dollar and the ongoing minerals boom.