13 Apr 2017

Manufacturing activity best in 15 months

3:04 pm on 13 April 2017

Activity in the manufacturing sector has bounced back to its best level in more than a year.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The BNZ Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index climbed a seasonally-adjusted 2.1 percentage points to 57.8 in March, the second consecutive monthly gain, and the highest since January last year.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The increase was driven by a surge in new orders, which were at their highest in nearly 13 years.

There were solid gains also for the production and employment indicators, but falls in stocks and deliveries.

A senior economist at the BNZ, Craig Ebert, said the survey showed the economy has strong momentum.

"This suggests manufacturing has recovered from the apparent weakness around the end of last year and it should expand quite well in the first half of this year," Mr Ebert said.

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