New Zealand’s services sector experienced increased levels of expansion in February, according to the BNZ – BusinessNZ Performance of Services Index (PSI).
The PSI for February was 56.9. This was 1.5 points higher than January, and continues the trend of the sector recording a post-55 point value since December 2014 (A PSI reading above 50.0 indicates that the service sector is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).
BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said that February’s result was boosted by a strong showing in sales (60.0) and new orders/business (61.4).
“An overall increase in expansion also saw a lift in the proportion of positive comments from respondents, rising from 59.7% in January to 67.6% in February. While some comments revolved around seasonal factors, a number noted increased tourist numbers, as well as proactive steps to increase market share”.
Regarding the February result, BNZ Senior Economist Craig Ebert said “The most reassuring aspect of February’s PSI, however, was the bounce back in its employment index. This proved important, in that it offset the softness in February’s Performance of Manufacturing Index on staffing, which had moved into contraction territory.”