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First-quarter manufacturing volumes fall

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/06/2017 Tina Morrison

The volume of New Zealand's manufacturing sales fell for a second straight quarter in the first three months of this year, but the values rose due to higher prices.

The volumes of total manufacturing sales fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3 per cent in the March quarter, compared with the December quarter when they dropped 2 per cent, Statistics New Zealand said.

The value of manufacturing sales rose a seasonally adjusted 2.8 per cent, following a 1.3 per cent increase three months earlier.

Meat and dairy product manufacturing led the decline in volumes in the latest quarter, falling 7.8 per cent, although the sales values for those commodities increased 1.1 per cent.

Excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, sales volumes rose 1.7 per cent, while values increased 3.5 per cent.

"The fall in meat and dairy sales volumes followed a similar fall in the previous quarter," Stats NZ business indicators manager Craig Liken said. "In contrast, sales values were up $77 million, mainly reflecting a rise in dairy product prices."

New Zealand's manufacturing sector has been in almost continuous expansion since October 2012, based on the Bank of New Zealand-BusinessNZ performance of manufacturing index.

However, over the longer-term, manufacturing has declined as a percentage of the economy, from about 26 per cent of gross domestic production 40 years ago to about 13 per cent in 2009, with a rise in services, now the biggest contributor to GDP.

Of the 13 manufacturing industries measured, volumes of seven rose in the latest quarter, while five fell and one remained unchanged. Petroleum and coal product manufacturing volumes increased 5.7 per cent, while chemical, polymer and rubber product manufacturing rose 7 per cent.

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