14 May 2012

Services sector picking up, index shows

1:39 pm on 14 May 2012

Activity in the services sector has picked up, reaching its highest level since November last year and pointing to further economic recovery.

The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Service Index shows activity in the service sector measured 56.7 in April, up 2.5 points from March.

A reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.

BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert says the index's result is promising and will calm nerves after the recent fall in manufacturing activity.

"This is telling us that the recovery is continuing - and at a reasonably good clip - and it's encouraging, given the global context.

"There's a lot of people still not convinced that this is actually occurring, but these indicators are telling us that we are still getting there."

Mr Ebert says all indicators showed expansion, with new orders leading the way followed by sales and employment.