Other News

BNZ – BusinessNZ PMI – December 2016

Activity in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector saw December expansion at the same level as November, according to the BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI).
The seasonally adjusted PMI for December was 54.5 (a PMI reading above 50.0 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).  This was the same as November, and the joint lowest expansion level since October 2015.  Overall, the sector remains solidly in expansion in almost all months since October 2012.

BusinessNZ’s executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said that although December’s result did not show improvement from November, the overall result for 2016 was encouraging.
“Activity in the manufacturing sector over 2016 averaged out at 56.0.  This was up from 54.2 in 2015, but interestingly the same result as both 2014 and 2013.  Overall, this shows how consistent and positive activity has been for the sector over the last few years”.  
“In addition, the proportion of positive comments stood at 70% for December, with seasonal factors (particularly Xmas) having a strong influence”.

BNZ Senior Economist, Craig Ebert, said “the December result caps off a positive year for the manufacturing sector.  Indeed, since the survey started in 2002, last year’s average has only been surpassed by 2004’s 57.5”.

View PMI Time Series Data

Manufacturing Snapshot
Happy Last Year

New Zealand’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) finished 2016 at 54.5, so no change between November and December. The final two months weren’t quite as strong as the rest of the year (not due to earthquakes, it would seem, as, regionally, Central NZ has shown the largest annual increase).
Some Warnings
The PMI and QSBO both suggest manufacturers enjoyed reasonable growth, particular in production, in the final quarter of 2016. But some details raise a warning.
Happy New Year
A reason not to be too alarmed by softer new order indicators is manufacturers’ overall upbeat outlook. Manufacturers in the QSBO are more confident.
Supply and Demand
Also above norms are indicators of manufacturers’ resource tightness. For example, manufacturers’ difficulty in finding appropriate staff has become even more acute while capacity utilisation, at 92.3%, is above its long term average, of 90.4%.

View full BNZ Manufacturing Snapshot

Record month for card spending

Retail spending using electronic cards reached the highest-ever monthly figure in December 2016, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Total retail spending using electronic cards was $6.5 billion in December 2016, up $355 million (5.8 percent) from December 2015. The largest industry increase came from hospitality, up $126 million (13.4 percent).

“This is the first month card spending in hospitality exceeded $1 billion,” business indicators manager Tehseen Islam said. “The higher hospitality spending coincides with a period of rising international tourism and residents enjoying Christmas and New Year holiday breaks.”

However, when adjusted for seasonal effects, retail spending fell 0.1 percent in December 2016. This follows a 0.1 percent fall in November 2016.

Seasonally adjusted card spending rose in three of the six retail industries. The largest movements in December 2016 were:

  • fuel, up $26 million (4.4 percent)
  • durables, down $17 million (1.4 percent).

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) fell 0.8 percent in December 2016, after a 0.5 percent fall in November 2016.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries (services, and other non-retail) was unchanged in December 2016. This follows a 0.3 percent fall in November 2016.

Trends for the total, retail, and core retail series have generally been rising since these series began in October 2002, but have been easing in recent months.

Values are only available at the national level, and are not adjusted for price changes.

RBNZ announces two senior management appointments

The Reserve Bank has appointed Klarissa Plimmer as Chief Information Officer and Patrick Hoerler as Head of Risk Assessment and Assurance.
As Chief Information Officer, Klarissa Plimmer is responsible for the Bank’s information management and technology. Ms Plimmer was previously the Director ICT Solution Delivery at the New Zealand Defence Force, and has worked in a number of ICT leadership roles at the BNZ for 13 years.
Patrick Hoerler heads the Bank’s Risk Assessment and Assurance unit, which is responsible for ensuring that financial, operational, and reputational risks faced by the Bank are identified, monitored and managed in line with best practice. The unit includes the Bank’s internal audit function and legal services.
Before joining the Bank Mr Hoerler was the Risk Assurance Officer for Mercury (formerly Mighty River Power and Mercury Energy) and was previously their treasurer. Mr Hoerler has a background in international banking, working with Credit Suisse and Zurich Kantonalbank in the US and Asia before migrating to New Zealand to work as treasurer for ENZA and in banking with HSBC.