Manufacturing's golden run continues

JAMES WEIR
Last updated 10:53 13/12/2013

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Manufacturing golden run has entered its 14th month with activity up again in November.

New orders were strong across the board and metal products were racing ahead because of the building boom, an industry survey says.

The latest BNZ-Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index was 56.7 points in November, which was 0.8 points up on October. An index above 50 shows the sector is generally expanding and below 50 that it is contracting.

The manufacturing sector has been expanding for 14 months in a row.

The average value of the PMI has been 56 points since the start of 2013.

The new orders sub-index was especially strong at 62 points. Employment and production activity are also picking up the pace.

BNZ senior economist, Craig Ebert, said the combination of high orders and lean inventory suggested manufacturing production would continue to post a strong expansion, following strong gains in recent months.

"The PMI keeps on keeping on, with expansion in every sector and every region," he said.

"The days of it just being Canterbury are long gone."

BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said all manufacturing sub sectors expanded in the month, but parts of the November survey shone a "positive light" on the sector.

"Key sectors such as metal product manufacturing are showing stellar levels of activity, no doubt partly due to the boom in construction at present," she said.

New orders and production remained key components towards ongoing expansion in the sector, while employment levels were showing more consistent and steady growth.

Manufacturers said there had been a stronger-than-usual pre-Christmas rush.

"This bodes well for a convincing end to 2013," she said.

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- Fairfax Media

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