Producing the goods

New Zealand's level of manufacturing activity during November returned to September's expansion result, according to the BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The seasonally adjusted PMI for November was 57.7 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was 0.4 points up from the previous month, and returned the sector back to September's result. It also continues the relatively tight band of expansion seen over the last four months. Overall, the sector has remained in expansion in all months since October 2012. Catherine Beard Executive Director ManufacturingNZ BusinessNZ's executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that the sector is heading towards a stronger second half of the year. "The sub index value for production (62.1) was at its highest level of expansion since July 2013, while finished stocks (57.5) was the highest recorded since the survey began, just pipping the 57.4 recorded in September 2014. Also, the proportion of positive comments in November (65.1%) increased slightly from October (64.2%). BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel, said that "recent surveys have seen business confidence falter during and after the government formation process. In contrast, the PMI, which is a survey of business outcomes rather than sentiment has remained rock solid over recent months".