WELLINGTON, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The growth of New Zealand's manufacturing sector last month was the third highest monthly expansion rate since records began in 2002, according the latest performance of manufacturing index (PMI) released on Thursday.
The BNZ-Business New Zealand PMI for July was 59.5, on a scale on which above 50 indicates expansion and below 50 contraction, which was 4.3 points higher than the June level and was the highest July reading on record.
Overall, the first seven months of 2013 had averaged a healthy 56.3, indicating a sector "in good heart," Business New Zealand executive director for manufacturing Catherine Beard said in a statement.
"Unlike the lackluster results during the middle part of 2012, the 2013 results have not only held up, but have improved since the start of the year," said Beard.
Respondents had highlighted an increase in foreign and domestic orders, as well as an uplift in the general economy.
BNZ economist Doug Steel said in the statement that the PMI results were very impressive given the marked slowdown in the Australian economy and its importance for New Zealand manufactured exports.
All five sub-indices were in expansion in July, with deliveries of raw materials at 62.3, production at 62.2, new orders at 62.1, employment at 53.1 and finished stocks at 52.6.