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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Conditions remain volatile for manufacturers

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The latest New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) Survey of Business Conditions completed during October 2015, shows total sales in September 2015 increased 3.28% (year on year export sales increased by 0.06% with domestic sales increasing 12.1%) on September 2014.

The NZMEA survey sample this month covered NZ$314m in annualised sales, with an export content of 71%.

Net confidence rose to 23, up from 5 in August.

The current performance index (a combination of profitability and cash flow) is at 102.3, down from 111.0 last month, the change index (capacity utilisation, staff levels, orders and inventories) was at 97, down from 99 in the last survey, and the forecast index (investment, sales, profitability and staff) is at 104.83, down on the last result of 106.67. Anything over 100 indicates expansion.

Constraints reported were 77% markets and 23% skilled staff.

Net 38% of firms reported a modest fall in productivity in September.

Staff numbers for September increased 0.35% year on year.

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

“Export sales were flat in September, reporting no real change on the same month in 2014, although there were improvements on last month’s fall of 3.18%. Domestic turnover bounced back into year-on-year increases, at 12.1%, a stark difference to August’s decrease of 13%. This month represents some positive turn-around from a downward trend in recent months, but manufacturers and exporters are clearly still facing a lot of volatility. “says NZMEA Chief Executive Dieter Adam.

“Staff numbers were also flat in September and changes in sentiment measures were mixed. Confidence improved on last month, from 5 to 23 in September, while the performance, forecast and change index measures all saw reductions from their values in August.

“The only reported constraints were markets, moving up higher to 77%, and skilled staff, which hit 23%. The high market constraint value reflects the general level of volatility that has been felt, both in terms of market demand and in our exchange rate. The recent strengthening of the currency is of some concern, though there is hope this will continue back on its expected downward trend in coming months. This needs to be a priority in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s thinking in assessing conditions for their December interest rate review.

“The skilled staff constraint has only reached a value this high one other month since 2008 (March this year). This is in line with more anecdotal comments from member companies reporting challenges in finding skilled staff. This is an area that needs more focus - ensuring our education system is forward-looking and matches industry needs, businesses adopt good HR management practices and are supported to train and develop their staff. We also need to get much better at telling people about the opportunities for well paid, skilled employment in the sector." says Dieter. 

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tags: survey, exports, volatility, manufacturing, staff, exchange rate, skills


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