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NZ manufacturing activity dips in April

NZN 12/05/2017 Rebecca Howard

New Zealand's manufacturing activity eased in April but remains in expansionary territory.

The Bank of New Zealand-BusinessNZ performance of manufacturing index was a seasonally adjusted 56.8 in April, down 1.2 points from March when it was 58. A reading of 50 separates expansion from contraction.

New Zealand's manufacturing sector has remained in expansion in almost every month since October 2012, buoyed by a construction boom that started in the post-earthquakes Christchurch rebuild and has extended to Auckland's housing market.

The index is still well above the 53.2 it touched in January.

"There weren't any significant jags in the main component detail of the PMI for April, leaving them all looking good," said BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert.

In particular, new orders were still leading from the front and production was reasonably expansive, he said.

Friday's figures show the PMI's production sub-index fell to 56.9 in April versus 60 in March.

Employment was largely unchanged at 53 versus 53.5 in the prior month. New orders eased to 62.4 from 63.2, while finished stocks ticked up to 53.8 from 52.8 and deliveries were 54.6 versus 54 in the prior month.

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