19 Aug 2008

Service sector still in decline

7:29 pm on 19 August 2008

The service sector is still in decline, although the latest figures hint at some improvement.

The Bank of New Zealand-Business New Zealand Performance of Services index is up 3.3 points to 48.9 for July.

Despite the rise, the figure for July is still 6.3 points down on the same time last year.

A reading below 50 indicates the sector is still contracting.

BNZ markets economist Mark Walton says factors such as the weak housing market, high petrol prices and high interest rates will hurt the economy for a while yet.

He says the labour market is also going to get worse rather than better.