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NZ manufacturing sales volumes fall in 1Q

NZN 8/06/2016 Tina Morrison

New Zealand manufacturing sales volumes fell in the first quarter, snapping two consecutive quarterly gains, as meat and dairy product manufacturing posted their biggest quarterly declines in more than three years.

Total seasonally adjusted sales volumes dropped 1.2 per cent in the three months through March, following a revised 0.8 per cent gain in the December quarter and a 3.4 per cent gain in the September quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. Excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, first quarter sales volumes rose 0.7 per cent, the agency said.

Manufacturing volumes for meat and dairy products, the country's two largest export commodity groups, fell 7.8 per cent in the first quarter, the biggest drop since the December 2012 quarter when they slid 9.1 per cent. Of the 13 manufacturing industries, eight rose in five fell in the quarter, the statistics agency said.

Other manufacturing industries to post drops in sales volumes in the quarter included chemical, polymer, and rubber product manufacturing, down 4.2 per cent; non-metallic mineral product manufacturing down 4.1 per cent; furniture and other manufacturing down 3.5 per cent; and printing down 2 per cent.

Gains were led by seafood manufacturing which increased 6.8 per cent; and textile, leather, clothing and footwear manufacturing up 6.7 per cent. Petroleum and coal product manufacturing, which isn't seasonally adjusted, advanced 5.4 per cent.

Elsewhere, fruit, oil, cereal and other food manufacturing gained 2.8 per cent; transport equipment, machinery, and equipment manufacturing increased 2.2 per cent; wood and paper product manufacturing advanced 1.6 per cent; metal product manufacturing rose 0.5 per cent; and beverage and tobacco product manufacturing edged up 0.1 per cent.

The manufacturing data feeds into estimates for gross domestic product for the first quarter, which is scheduled for release on June 16.

The actual value of manufacturing sales, including price changes, slid 2.6 per cent to $24.02 billion in the first quarter, the statistics agency said.

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