MEDIA RELEASE 26 May 2000
MANUFACTURING GROWTH AND CONFIDENCE FALLS SHARPLY
Manufacturers are going into the second quarter of 2000 with a substantial drop in turnover. The figures from the
Employers’ & Manufacturers’ Association (EMA) monthly survey of business conditions for April, saw both export and domestic turnover
down 13% on the same month last year.
“This survey result is the most pessimistic that I can recall in a long time” said Alasdair Thompson, Chief Executive of
“The EMA survey for April provides evidence of a significant slowdown in the pace of manufacturing activity. Higher
interest rates and falling exchange rates are affecting consumer and business confidence. Only 38% of respondents are
now operating at full capacity down from 53% last month. Our survey result confirms that the Canterbury Employers
Chamber survey results out last week are applicable in the Auckland area too.
“Much of the business pessimism arises from the perception that the government is more interested in wealth
redistribution than it is in sending positive signals to wealth creating business employers. Our members are telling us
that business confidence could fall even further if the government fails to address our legitimate concerns regarding
the Employment Relations Bill.
“Raw material cost pressures are at their highest levels (with 56% of respondents saying they would increase the price
of their finished goods). Our enquiries indicate these price increases are imported and are exchange rate or oil
“While staff numbers are up 10% on the same time last year nearly 17% of respondents indicated they could decrease staff
next month. That is up from nil percent in February and March, and is unlikely to take account of the adverse effect we
can expect on employment from the Employment Relations Act when it comes into effect later this year,” concluded
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