David Thompson Posted:
So very, very true. It beggars belief that we consider ourselves to be a developed nation when so much of our economy is based on selling milk powder or logs. BTW, I own a Plinius amplifier (my second) that drives a set of Theophany speakers.
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David Thompson Posted:
A robust but sobering report. It concerns me that confidence is rising, yet sales and exports are down and "manufacturers and exporters are still lagging behind other sectors". Surely we should wait until we're earning more money before we start spending more?
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siemens Posted:
Yes true! The only thing that will never die in this world is the nature and its science behind it. Great post.
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Kieran Ormandy Posted:
Thanks for the question Steven, Germany has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2009, and Switzerland has had stable manufacturing employment between 2006 – 2011, even in the face of ongoing Euro-zone issues. Korea has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2008 and Israel experienced large increases since 1998, while being stable over the last 4 years. Singapore has had increases in manufacturing employment over the last two years. These countries all value their manufacturing sectors and work to protect them, this is reflected in the above numbers and their performance through the GFC. Note data around the above examples was sourced from OECD labour market stats.
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John Walley Posted:
Point one: you should have no doubt what our Association says publically represent the views of our members. Point two: we don’t knee jerk responses, if you trace back our comments around NZPower you will see them link all the way back to our research in 2004 and 2005. All that material is fully linked from our comments above. Point three: you will note our comments on major users, sadly the same advantage does not accrue to smaller industrial users. The perverse incentives of the LRMC approach in all this are well known. Point four: the NZMEA is not like any other Association in New Zealand we admit only manufacturers and exporters into membership, and our public expressions are the views of that restricted membership.
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Manufacturing growth still flat

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The latest New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) Survey of Business Conditions completed during May 2012, shows total sales in April 2012 decreased 1.51% (export sales increased by 5.41% with domestic sales decreasing 6.09%) on April 2011.

The NZMEA survey sample this month covered NZ$428m in annualised sales, with an export content of 43%.

Net confidence rose to 9, up from the -20 result reported last month.

The current performance index (a combination of profitability and cash flow) is at 101, up from 99 in March, the change index (capacity utilisation, staff levels, orders and inventories) remained steady at 101, and the forecast index (investment, sales, profitability and staff) is also steady at 102. Anything less than 100 indicates a contraction.

Constraints reported were 91% markets and 9% production capacity.

Staff numbers for April decreased year on year by 3.38%.

“There is a continuation of the flat line we have seen in manufacturing for the past few years,” says NZMEA Chief Executive John Walley. “Generally the story of sales just holding up, but weak order books and a lack of confidence in future prospects remains prominent.”

“The big concern of the past six months or so has been staff numbers. Since September last year we have seen a contraction in staff numbers which suggests manufacturers are reducing capacity underscoring the soft expectations – not a good long-term prospect.”

“Comments on overseas markets were that the United States is looking stronger than Europe and that exports to Australia are suffering as firms exporting from Australia struggle with their high exchange rate.”

“Exchange rate difficulties once again led the list of threats to manufacturers.”

“Some insurance claims are getting settled in Christchurch which is encouraging, but there are still some hold ups particularly with the building elements of insurance claims.”

“The Budget was largely a disappointment for manufacturers and exporters. There were some helpful tweaks such as the increased funding for research and development, however, on the whole it kept the status quo which has seen the traded sector stagnate since 2004.”

“The expanding current account deficit forecasts were of particular concern and these must be a priority for the Government. The current account needs much more policy focus.”

“Hard decisions on balancing the tax system, managing the exchange rate and addressing massive costs like superannuation are needed to support growth in the traded sector.”


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tags: survey, superannuation, canterbury earthquakes, budget 2012


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