Manufacturers in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions are expanding faster than elsewhere in New Zealand, according to the Performance of Manufacturing Index, and manufacturers are attributing that to the high performing rural sector.
“The integration of our rural and urban businesses is delivering real sustainability to the regions’ economies,” said EMA Waikato chairman Jack Ninnes.
“The PMI for the Waikato/BoP was a strong 58.6 for May,” Mr Ninnes said.
(The further the reading above 50 the stronger the expansion; below 50 indicates decline).
“Better still, the production index at 61.5 and the employment index at 65.4 suggests manufacturers have jobs to fill.
“These results point to significantly higher business confidence in our regions than in the bigger centres where the PMI is indicating slower rates of expansion.
“Local manufacturers attribute the good result to several favourable factors: ongoing dairy related developments, large regional projects requiring manufactured inputs, solid Field Day sales, NZ Boat Show sales, and new building and construction activity.
“On the downside, there are continuing reports of a fall off in demand from Australia, compounded by the unfavourable trans Tasman cross rate.
“In general we hear the high NZ dollar is squeezing margins on both exports and on products such as plant and equipment that compete with imported goods.
“But the overall level of growth is a testimony to our local manufacturers’ resilience and ever increasing capabilities.”