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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Survey - Bumping along the bottom

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The latest New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) Survey of Business Conditions completed during February 2010, shows total sales in January 2010 decreased 3% (export sales decreased by 32% with domestic sales increasing 15%) on January 2009.

The NZMEA survey sample this month covered NZ$452m in annualised sales, with an export content of 28%.

Net confidence rose to 45, well up from the -11 result reported last month.

The current performance index (a combination of profitability and cash flow) is at 100.5, down from 101.5 in December, the change index (capacity utilisation, staff levels, orders and inventories) rose to 99 from 98 in the last survey, and the forecast index (investment, sales, profitability and staff) is at 104.5, up on December’s result of 101. Anything less than 100 indicates a contraction.

Markets were the only reported constraint.

Staff numbers for January 2010 decreased year on year by 13%.

“Confidence has turned positive this month after two years in negative territory but that will be little comfort until sales and jobs start to pick up,” says NZMEA Chief Executive John Walley. “There are reports of markets starting to improve but there is still a fair way to go to get back to normal. A persistent concern is the exchange rate which continues to hit profitability even in industries where sales have improved.”

“A lower cross rate and continued growth in the Australian economy will help manufacturers selling to Australia, particularly if they buy materials in US dollars. Overall markets are still soft and remain the only reported constraint. Europe is particularly weak.”

“Better index numbers show that things might improve, but it is not the ‘v’ shaped recovery we had hoped for.”

“Lower sales and a drop in staff numbers show that, at best, we are bumping along the bottom.”

“Working papers released by the International Monetary Fund this month have reinforced the messages that the Government has been receiving for some time on management choices for the economy and currency issues. ‘Strict inflation targeting is not optimal’ is a pretty clear message. Unfortunately this advice looks like it has fallen on deaf ears.”

“The medium term outlook will remain gloomy while the Government refuses to address the imbalances in the economy. The foreshadowed tax changes demonstrate that even if the needs of the tradeable sector are understood, they are being ignored.”

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tags: survey, sales, staff, confidence, imf


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