The latest New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) Survey of Business Conditions completed during February 2013, shows total sales in January 2013 increased 7.71% (export sales increased by 17.23% with domestic sales decreasing 0.02%) on January 2012.
The NZMEA survey sample this month covered NZ$221m in annualised sales, with an export content of 49%.
Net confidence rose to -9, up from the -14 result reported last month.
The current performance index (a combination of profitability and cash flow) is at 99.5, down from 101 in December, the change index (capacity utilisation, staff levels, orders and inventories) went up to 100 from 97 in the last survey, and the forecast index (investment, sales, profitability and staff) is at 102.75, up on December’s result of 101.75. Anything less than 100 indicates a contraction.
Constraints reported were 82% markets and 18% production capacity.
Staff numbers for January increased year on year by 2.03%.
“We are seeing positive increases in exports for January, but confidence, although improved on last month is still negative.” says NZMEA Chief Executive John Walley. “Overall trends are hard to pick, but it seems they are zero to slightly positive in recent months.”
“Markets and exchange rates are once again seen as the biggest constraint to growth. With better news, at least for now, from the economy we hope that the Reserve Bank will move quickly on the introduction of prudential tools, such as loan to value ratios, to push back on house price inflation, without bringing more upwards pressure on the exchange rate. ”
“We also received comment that finding entry level staff is difficult, especially in the Christchurch region as the rebuild gathers a little pace.”
“The overall feeling is that things remain a struggle but efforts endure, however if the dollar continues to appreciate their future is questioned and we will see significant loss of activity in New Zealand. These are highly efficient, expert firms that would be thriving given the right policy settings; their absence will have significant and long term negative impacts on the New Zealand economy far beyond the immediate job losses.”