Acceleration seen in service sector activity

BNZ Capital

It was for the first time since March 2008 that an expansion in the activity of the service sector was noticed this July.

Last month, the BNZ Capital -- Business NZ Performance of Services Index (PSI) was at 50.1, which was higher by 5.1 from June. It should be noted that if a PSI reading above 50, it means that the sector is generally expanding.

However, contraction was displayed in July by three of the five diffusion indices that make up the PSI.

It should be noted though that the main indicators of activity/sales (51.7), and new orders/business (56.5) were at their highest levels since March 2008 and February 2008.

In addition, at 47.9, the highest level was attained by the employment index since last November.

According to BNZ Capital senior economist Craig Ebert, though overlying trends were encouraging on the surface level; the news was actually not all that good.

While tracing an example, he said that although the Canterbury/Westland area was at 53.1, neighboring Otago/Southland plummeted at 43.7.

Mr. Ebert said: "And while the retailing, wholesaling and transport industries looked much more stable, the likes of finance and insurance, communications and hospitality appeared to be going backwards."


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