The BNZ Capital - Business New Zealand Performance of Services index rose eight points in March to 47.1 - its second consecutive monthly increase.
But it's still tracking below 50 points, meaning it's still in contraction.
Within the index, forward-orders got back into growth-mode, at 51. 4 points.
However, BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert says it's more likely to be a seasonal fluctuation than a genuine recovery.
He says other surveys are still weak and the sector remains under quite a bit of pressure.
He says widespread softening in the business sector puts the onus on the consumer and public sectors to drive New Zealand out of recession.