12 Apr 2024

BNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index - March 2024

One Step Back

Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector experienced stronger contraction during March, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for March was 47.1 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was down from 49.1 in February and the lowest result since December 2023. The sector has now been in contraction for 13 consecutive months.

BusinessNZ’s Director, Advocacy Catherine Beard said that it was a case of two steps forward, one step back with improving activity levels for the first two months of 2024 being undone somewhat by the March result.

“The key sub-index results for New Orders (44.7) and Production (45.7) both experienced a noticeable drop, while Employment (46.8) was at its lowest level since October 2023. In addition, the proportion of negative comments increased to 65% in March, compared with 62% in February and 63.2% in January. A lack of orders was again mentioned by numerous respondents, along with the general economic slowdown”.

BNZ’s Senior Economist Doug Steel said that “the PMI’s average for the first quarter of the year is consistent with manufacturing GDP posting another quarter that is below that of a year earlier”.

Click here to view the full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

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