Activity in the services sector has expanded for the third month in a row, the latest survey has found.
The BNZ Capital-Business New Zealand Performance of Services Index climbed two points to 53.2 in September compared to the previous month.
A reading above 50 indicates activity is expanding.
Growth has been led by higher sales and new orders, which offset a contraction in staff and stock levels.
In the same month last year, the services sector was contracting due to the recession.
BNZ Capital economy Mark Walton says the September rise mirrors the broader recovery seen in the economy and bodes well for firms as Christmas approaches.