The volume of total manufacturing rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31, its second quarter of expansion, and up 1.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. That activity was underpinned by a 7.2 percent increase in petroleum and coal product manufacturing, a 1.9 percent gain in metal product manufacturing and a 0.9 percent lift in meat and dairy production.
While activity was on the up, the value of total manufacturing sales declined 0.7 percent in the quarter to $23.13 billion in the quarter, its third decline, and was down 3.5 percent from the same period a year earlier. The plunge in global dairy prices last year weighed on the value of sales, with meat and dairy product sales falling 2.7 percent in the quarter to $7.43 billion. That’s the fourth quarterly decline in value across the meat and dairy sector, and the value of sales were down 14 percent from the same quarter a year earlier, outpacing the 1.4 percent annual decline in volumes.
The Bank of New Zealand BusinessNZ performance of manufacturing index for February is due this week after the January survey showed expanding activity slowed to a two year low with new orders flat and a build up in inventories.
Today’s data showed the volume of finished stocks climbed 8.6 percent in the December quarter, and was down 6.4 percent from the same period a year earlier. The value of raw materials fell 6 percent to $3.66 billion in the quarter, while the value of finished goods rose 4.9 percent to $10.36 billion.
In unadjusted terms, the volume of manufacturing increased 1.5 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31 from the same quarter a year earlier, while the vale of sales fell 3.2 percent to $25.58 billion.