The manufacturing sector in New Zealand fell into contraction in December, the latest survey from BusinessNZ revealed on Friday with a PMI score of 48.7.
That's down sharply from the downwardly revised 54.7 in January (originally 55.3) and it slips beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
Individually, production (51.5) managed to keep its head above water, but the other key sub-index of new orders (49.9) failed to see expansion. Employment (49.9) also fell just below the 50.0 point mark, while finished stocks (45.9) and deliveries (44.5) both fell well into contraction.
"The PMI's three-month moving average sits at an expansionary 51.8, albeit below its long-term average of 53.0. This all suggests some expansion in the final quarter of last year, but the softer December month suggests some caution heading into the New Year." BNZ Senior Economist Doug Steel said.