Labour, Greens and NZ First release their “report” from their manufactured inquiry into the manufacturing crisis. They specialise in putting out cherry picked data to try and convince people there is a crisis in manufacturing.
To counter that I'm blogging these graphs which are all directly from the Stats NZ Infoshare database and show some key metrics over time, so people can see the actual changes and trends. They are a mixture of positive and negative, but not an indicator of a crisis I would say. In fact all have been improving recently.
This is the manufacturing component of NZ's gdp. There certainly has been a decline in real prices, but note it started in 2006 and since 2010 it has started growing again.
This is the total gross earnings from people working the the manufacturing sector. A significant fall from Q1 2008 to Q3 2009, but some growth since then.
The number of jobs in the manufacturing sector has been falling since 2004. This is partly because of growing automation. The large falls began in Q1 2007 until Q4 2009. Since 2009, there has been some modest growth.
The manufacturing sales show a similar pattern. A big decline started Q1 2008. Since Q4 2010, it has been growing – quite strongly in recent months.
This graph I blogged last week and is not from Stats NZ, but the BNZ/business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index. It is basically a specialised business confidence index for the sector. It is at a nine year high.
So what do these graphs all show? Several things:
- NZ suffered from the global financial crisis in late 2008 through to 2010
- NZ manufacturing started declining prior to the GFC, in Labour's last term. This is no surprise as we went into recession at the beginning of 2008, and the tradeables sector was in recession from 2005.
- Jobs in manufacturing have been declining for a longer period, due to automation
- Every manufacturing indicator is now positive and growing, with confidence for the sector at a nine year high
It's good for parties to promote alternative economic policies for sectors such as manufacturing. That is what politics is about. It is not good however to try and manufacture a crisis, when there clearly is not a crisis.
As for the exchange rate, have a look at the TWI in the last year.
And before anyone lies, this post was my idea, all my own work, and unknown to everyone else in the entire universe until it appeared on the blog.