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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Confidence takes a hit

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The latest New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) Survey of Business Conditions completed during March 2015, shows total sales in February 2015 decreased 18.20% (year on year export sales decreased by 27.06% with domestic sales increasing 10.08%) on February 2014.

The NZMEA survey sample this month covered NZ$178m in annualised sales, with an export content of 68%.

Net confidence fell to -13, down from 21 in January.

The current performance index (a combination of profitability and cash flow) is at 95.3, down from 100.3 last month, the change index (capacity utilisation, staff levels, orders and inventories) was at 99, down from 100 in the last survey, and the forecast index (investment, sales, profitability and staff) is at 102.33, down on the last result of 106.5. Anything over 100 indicates expansion.

Constraints reported were 53% markets, 40% production capacity, and 7% capital.

Net 7% of firms reported a modest rise in productivity in February.

Staff numbers for February decreased 1.75% year on year.

Tradespersons, supervisors, managers, professional/scientists and operators/labourers all reported a moderate shortage.

Domestic sales improved year on year for the third month in a row – this followed falling sales felt between July and November 2014. Year on year export sales fell back into negative territory after January saw improved sales – some of this reduction was in part due to large falls in particularly large contributors in February.

Confidence fell into negative territory for the first month since April 2013. That was accompanied by falls in all three index measures: performance, forecast and change. Staff numbers also fell, for only the third time in the past year.

“Being one of our largest markets, weak demand and returns from Australia is becoming an increasing issue for manufacturers, along with the weak Australian dollar (AUD), hitting many who sell products in this currency. For many it is like the tap has been turned off, and for most, prices cannot be raised to off-set. Similar conditions continue to be felt for exporters to Europe and high volatility of the currency remains a challenge for almost all exporters." said NZMEA President Tom Thomson.

“The New Zealand dollar reached record highs against the AUD in March, and remains elevated on a TWI basis; we have received some concerned comments recently from members on this issue.” says Tom Thomson.  

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tags: survey, exports, australia, performance, manufacturers, currency, exchange rate


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