16 Dec 2008

Grim outlook for manufacturing and services sector

6:49 am on 16 December 2008

Latest figures suggest the immediate future for the manufacturing and service sectors is grim.

The Bank of New Zealand - Business New Zealand performance of services index fell 1.4 points to 47.3 in November, which is more than 15 points lower than the same month last year.

Meanwhile, Statistics New Zealand reports the volume of manufacturing sales fell 2.3% in the September quarter to an eight year low.

That is consistent with the performance of manufacturing index, which plunged to a record low of 35.4 in November.

Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly said while the services sector index showed only a moderate decline, some of the indicators within the survey suggest tougher times may lie ahead.

With the manufacturing sector Mr O'Reilly said although some exporters are benefiting from the low dollar, others are struggling because of the weak consumer demand overseas.