Manufacturing export sales rose 17 per cent last December from December 2012, despite a high dollar, a survey shows.
The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association survey for December last year sampled manufacturers with annual sales of $383 million and an export content of 59 per cent, and showed showed strong confidence in the sector.
However, manufactures reported that domestic sales had fallen 14 per cent in December compared with December 2012.
With export and domestic sales combined, sales last December were 2 per cent ahead of December 2012.
Some 55 per cent of manufacturing exporters reported a rise in export sales, while 44 per cent reported a fall, a net 11 per cent up.
On domestic sales, 66 per cent reported a rise and 33 per cent a fall, a net 33 per cent up.
Confidence figures have remained positive since last May, except for one month at neutral. In November and December, confidence was a net 30 per cent.
A net 30 per cent of firms reported a modest rise in productivity for December.
Staff numbers for December fell year on year by 2.25 per cent.
Association chief executive John Walley said there was a moderate staff shortage reported for tradespeople, operators-labourers, supervisors and managers, and a minor shortage for professionals-scientists.
"We have seen more positive export sales over the last few months on the back of a generally negative trend throughout 2013," he said.
"In contrast, domestic turnover has been negative over recent months as compared to a generally positive trend in 2013."
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