New Zealand's manufacturing activity slowed in February, but overall the sector remains robust.
The BNZ-BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index for February was 56.0, down 2.0 points from the previous month. (A PMI reading above 50.0 indicates expansion).
The data also showed a contraction in employment for the first time since 2014.
The employment index reading was 48.5 in February, down from 54.7 in January.
However, the other sub-indexes of new orders and production remain very strong.
Economists expect employment to grow again in future months.
"We would be more concerned by the dip in the employment indicator this month if it were not for very strong new orders and ongoing underlying strength in broader spending indicators,” said BNZ Senior Economist Doug Steel.
“Overall, the PMI remains robust."