14 May 2015

Manufacturing sector slows

4:31 pm on 14 May 2015

Activity in the manufacturing sector has eased, but economists believe it is too soon to tell whether it reflects weakness in the economy, or the impact of holidays.

The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index fell about 3 points to 51.8 in April, from the previous month. A reading above 50 still indicates expansion.

Bank of New Zealand senior economist Doug Steel said the high New Zealand dollar against the Australian currency might have played a part in the result.

"We had the timing of Easter and the ANZAC Day holidays," he said.

"Respondents also noted the weakness in Australia maybe affecting their sales, and the cross-rate, with the New Zealand dollar - Australian dollar being pretty close to parity in the month, would have been a head wind."

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