14 Jun 2024

BNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index - May 2024

Lack of Orders

Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector experienced a drop in May and ongoing contraction of the sector, according to the latest BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).

The seasonally adjusted PMI for May was 47.2 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was down from 48.8 in April, and means the sector has now been in contraction for 15 consecutive months.

BusinessNZ’s Director, Advocacy Catherine Beard said that there was little in the May result to signal a positive turnaround in the sector is coming soon.

“The key sub-index result of New Orders (44.4) remains stubbornly in contraction, and a clear impediment to overall expansion in the sector. To put this into perspective, during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/09 New Orders remained in contraction for 14 consecutive months. The current results are now a third more than that with New Orders now in contraction for 21 consecutive months. Production (44.5) reverted back to current trends after a surprise expansion in April, although Employment (50.6) did remain in expansion following the expansionary April result.

Despite the dip in the May result, the proportion of negative comments stood at 63.5%, which was down from 69% in April and 65% in March. The vast majority of negative comments focused on a general slowdown and the tough recessionary times at present”.

BNZ’s Senior Economist Doug Steel said that “PMI readings to date this year are consistent with falling manufacturing GDP. We anticipate next week’s Q1 GDP figures to include a contraction in the manufacturing component. The latest PMI indicators suggests Q2 will also be weak and potentially weaker than we already anticipate”.

Click here to view the full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

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