We haven't heard much from them lately, and this may explain why; NBR reports:
New Zealand manufacturing activity rose in May to the highest level since June 2004, led by new orders and production, stoking optimism the economy may be picking up pace.
The BNZ-BusinessNZ performance of manufacturing index rose 4 points to 59.2 in May, the highest level in nine years and the strongest reading for May since the survey began in 2002.
The monthly survey suggests manufacturing may not be as weak as suggested in government figure this week showing sales volumes fell 0.6 percent in the first quarter and indicates companies are confident enough to take on more workers.
Machinery and equipment manufacturing led gains in May, with a reading of 67.4.
"Today's PMI puts upside risk on our manufacturing and overall GDP forecasts over coming quarters," BNZ economist Doug Steel says. "The chances that New Zealand's economic growth this year is stronger than we forecast are increasing."
This is great news for both the manufacturing sector and for the economy in general. Growth in manufacturing will filter through to job growth, and as we have noted previously, job growth is really the last piece in the economic puzzle.
Of course Labour, the Greens, NZ First and Mana won't like this because their inquiry stunt has been undermined. But it is yet another sign that the conservative financial policies adopted by Bill English and John Key were the right medicine for the times, and that the New Zealand economy has weathered the global economic downturn better than most.
If the economy is the most significant election issue in 2014, Key and English are justified in asking the New Zealand electorate for a third term.