NZ’s metal and machinery manufacturers set for growth

New research predicts NZ manufacturers of metal products, machinery and equipment will have faster growth from now to 2013 than over the past five years.

New research predicts NZ manufacturers of metal products, machinery and equipment will have faster growth from now to 2013 than over the past five years.

Competenz commissioned the research from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER). According to the research, machinery and equipment manufacturing in New Zealand is forecast to grow at nearly twice the rate of the economy as a whole from now to 2013.

This makes it the fourth fastest growing industry sector, being outstripped by mining and quarrying, communications services and business services.

NZIER’s research suggests more resilience in New Zealand’s manufacturing sector than in the economy as a whole. Only 33% of manufacturing firms reported a drop in output in the last three months of 2008, compared to 44% of firms across all sectors.

The report also shows only 31% of New Zealand’s manufacturing firms expect output to fall in the first quarter of 2009. 14% of manufacturing firms increased their selling prices in the last quarter of 2008, and a net 13% expected they would do so in the first quarter of this year.

And after the tight labour market of recent years, New Zealand’s manufacturing firms say it is now easier to find skilled and unskilled labour. Employers are also using down-time from a drop-off in production to invest in training.