RTTNews - New Zealand's seasonally adjusted performance of manufacturing index or PMI stood at 42.7 in May, down one point from April and six points from the previous year, the latest report from the Business New Zealand or BNZ showed.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 signals a contraction.

Commenting on the latest data, Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly said that while the overall activity levels for May failed to build on the relative improvements in April, there were signs both in New Zealand and offshore that any significant worsening of activity may now be less likely. But at the same time, the recent fluctuations of the New Zealand dollar was not making life easy for those exporting their products, the chief noted.

A similar view was echoed by the BNZ Capital's Senior Economist Craig Ebert. Just when the global activity indicators, particularly around manufacturing, look to be stabilizing, the rising currency is causing another layer of concern for the local industry, Ebert said.

During the month, all the sub indices continued to contract, but remained above the 40-mark for the second consecutive month. The production index dropped 1.4 points from April to 41.4, while the employment index dropped to 43 from the preceding month. The new orders index stood at 41.3, while the deliveries index declined 0.6 points to 43. Moreover,the finished stocks index fell 0.6 points to 45.5, to reach a new record low in May.

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