RTTNews - New Zealand's Performance of Manufacturing Index or PMI stood at a seasonally adjusted 49.7 in July, up 3.2 points from June, the latest report from Business New Zealand said Thursday.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates that manufacturing is generally expanding; below 50 that it is declining.

The BNZ's chief executive Phil O' Reilly said the positive results for key sub-indicators provide a much stronger base for further improvement in the sector.

During the month, three of the five sub indicators remained in contraction, while two showed expansion. The production index lifted to 51 in July from 48.1 in June, marking the highest level since April 2008, when the reading stood at 52.2. New orders increased to 55.1 from 51.9 in the preceding month, the highest reading since December 2007.

Reilly noted that the values for production and new orders showed that New Zealand was increasingly close to breaking 15 months of contraction in the manufacturing sector.

Meanwhile, the employment index climbed to 44 from 40.3, and the deliveries index rose to 47.6 from 43.1, although they remained in contraction. The finished stocks index decreased further by 1.2 points to 42.6,in July, to reach a new low since the survey first began.

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