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NZ manufacturing starts year on high note

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New Zealand's manufacturing sector recorded its 16th straight month of expansion in January, according to the latest seasonally adjusted performance of manufacturing index (PMI).

As News.com.au reports, 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.

The result suggests the relatively strong kiwi dollar in comparison to the Australian dollar hasn't had a significant effect on activity.

New orders dipped to 60.2 from 61.4 in December, having held above 60 in six of the past seven months. Production rose to 59.5 from 57.2.

As Scoop.co.nz reports, Business New Zealand executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said 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.

"In particular, the metal product sector is currently benefiting from the strong residential construction boom, which will no doubt continue for some months to come," Beard said in a statement.

Manufacturing by industry sub-groups were mostly in expansion during January, led by metal product manufacturing on 59.3.

Petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product manufacturing, on 41.3, dropped sharply in January, mostly because of seasonal factors at play, she said.

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