15 Mar 2013

Manufacturing sector continues pickup

9:30 pm on 15 March 2013

Activity has picked up in the manufacturing sector for the third month in a row.

The Bank of New Zealand-Business New Zealand seasonally adjusted performance of manufacturing index rose 1 point, to 56.3 in February, its highest level since February last year.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Production led the way, followed by new orders, while employment eked out a small gain after contracting for the previous eight months.

Business New Zealand executive director of manufacturing Catherine Beard says a pick up in the construction sector appears to be feeding through into manufacturing.

She says a lot of domestic activity is tied up with construction and the building sector in same shape or form.

Catherine Beard says the situation is much more encouraging than some of the figures seen last year.

Ms Beard says activity remains uneven, with the food and beverage sector continuing to perform strongly while sectors such as printing, and clothing and footwear contracted.

She told Radio New Zealand National's business editor on Checkpoint firms supplying the building and construction sector in Canterbury and elsewhere are enjoying better times.