Media Release Friday, November 2nd, 2001
Manufacturers sales holding for now
Export turnover for September was up slightly for New Zealand's northern manufacturers, with domestic sales down by the same amount compared to the same month in 2000.
Overall, the business conditions outlook is steady for the moment, the Employers & Manufacturers Association Survey of Business Conditions shows. Survey results are released when over $100 million sales are registered from respondents in a month.
"Company predictions for forthcoming turnover levels are pretty much stable," said Bruce Goldsworthy, EMA's Manufacturing Division Director.
"We're a bit surprised that sales, cash flow, and investment intentions are holding up as well as appears to be the case.
"Manufacturers are reporting stable staff requirements looking forward, with significant skill shortages still, and with their commitment to investing in training, new equipment and new building slipping back only marginally from previous months.
"Inflation has emerged as an area of genuine concern, expected from higher costs of ACC, electricity, raw materials, and higher salaries and wages. A heightened unease about the pressure of competition is evident.
"Nonetheless the negative US GDP figures for the third quarter and other recent world data is the worst since the recession of 1991. While we are more favourably placed to withstand a global down turn than most other countries this is due to the profile of our exports, it is unlikely we will remain immune to it."
Comments: Bruce Goldsworthy tel 09 367 0948 (b)
09 522 2723 (h)