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NZ manufacturing alive and well: report

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Manufacturing is New Zealand’s largest economic sector and is ‘vibrant and kicking’, according to a report released today by ManufacturingNZ.

Stuff.co.nz reports that the report was compiled by researchers Castalia. It found that 14.6 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP was generated by the manufacturing sector.

This figure puts the relative size of the industry in line with the economies of Western Europe and the United States. And it means that, in relative terms, it is more significant than Australia’s manufacturing sector.

Alex Sundakov, chief executive of Castalia said, "This is important, since New Zealanders do not typically think of themselves as living in a manufacturing economy.

"This misperception can lead to people taking training and career paths, and entrepreneurs to making business decisions, which could undermine the potential for growth."

According to Catherine Beard, executive director of ManufacturingNZ, one of the big problems faced by companies interviewed for the report was the skills shortage.

"The case studies in this report reveal common factors which make New Zealand manufacturers competitive," she said.

"Talent-driven innovation is a key driver of competitiveness."

The year started well for New Zealand’s manufacturing sector. In January, it recorded its 16th straight month of expansion.  

The BNZ-Business seasonally adjusted PMI for January was 56.2. The PMI for December was 56.4. Any figure above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while figures under 50 indicate contraction.

At the time, the survey drew positive comments from manufacturers regarding growing consumer confidence, further gains in construction and continued high levels of new orders from home and abroad.

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