16 Jun 2011

Manufacturing activity picks up

11:59 am on 16 June 2011

The manufacturing sector continued to expand in May as improved demand prompted a spike in new orders.

The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index rose almost three points to 55.7 in May - the highest result in almost a year.

A reading above 50 suggests the sector is expanding.

BNZ economist Doug Steel says a big lift in new orders has boosted the index, and with inventories running low, production should pick up further.

Mr Steel says money from the agricultural sector is also starting to flow through the manufacturing sector, which is boosting activity.