Manufacturing down further despite lower dollar

The value and volume of manufactured goods has fallen for a second quarter in a row despite National’s promise that a lower dollar would help the sector, the Green Party said today.

Statistics New Zealand released its Economic Survey of Manufacturing today showing that total manufacturing sales for the quarter were $23.4 billion, down nearly $1.3 billion (5.1 percent) on the June 2014 quarter. The Trade Weighted Index – a basket of the currencies of our main trading partners – has declined 11 percent over the same period.

“National has built a narrow, commodity exporting economy that is highly vulnerable to international commodity price swings,” said Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“The fall in manufacturing sales is chiefly due to price falls in dairy and petroleum products – two of the key sectors National picked as winners and worthy of special subsidies.

“The one bright spot in the survey is high-tech manufacturing, which will finally be benefitting from our lower dollar.

“Manufacturing has struggled under National and the high New Zealand dollar, shedding jobs and capacity since 2008.

“We can encourage high value-added manufacturing and the well-paid jobs it creates by investing in innovation and policies like a capital gains tax (excluding the family home) that will take the heat out of the Auckland property market,” Ms Genter said.