New Zealand’s manufacturing activity continued to gain in August, pushing further above the long- term average as activity in the South Island and larger firms picked up. The BusinessNZ-Bank of New Zealand performance of manufacturing index rose 2.4 points to a seasonally adjusted 57.9 in August, extending its run of expansionary readings above 50 in every month since October 2012. BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert said growth was “relatively rapid now” as the latest month’s data pushed the index further ahead of its long- term average of 53.3. “Underlying this, the regional impetus has become much more uniform, after the South Island was lagging the North at the same stage last year,” Ebert said. Three of the five subindices rose, with production up 4.1 points to 60.3 and new orders gaining 2.9 points to 58.4.