Manufacturing: confidence up but sales down
Fri, 05 Feb 2010 12:14p.m.
The latest New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association Survey of Business Conditions shows total sales in December fell 6 percent compared with December 2008.
Export sales fell 7 percent and domestic sales dropped 4 percent. The NZMEA survey's January sample covered $482 million in annualised sales, with an export content of 42 percent.
Net confidence rose to minus 11, up from the minus 23 result reported last month.
The current performance index (a combination of profitability and cash flow) was at 101.5, up from 98.5 in October, the change index (capacity utilisation, staff levels, orders and inventories) went down to 101 from 103.75 in the last survey, and the forecast index (investment, sales, profitability and staff) is at 98, down on the previous result of 101. Anything less than 100 indicates a contraction.
Staff numbers for December decreased year on year by 17 percent.
"Sales look to be bottoming out for manufacturers, with markets picking up, albeit in patchy fashion," says NZMEA chief executive John Walley.
"However, staff numbers are continuing to track down as those firms in poorer performing markets continue to shed staff and those in better markets take advantage of spare capacity rather than hiring. The higher than expected unemployment rate of 7.3 percent announced by Statistics New Zealand yesterday reflected this trend."
The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association survey gathers results from members around New Zealand. It provides a monthly snapshot of manufacturers and exporters' sales and sentiment.
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