Business New Zealand is hopeful activity in the service sector will grow this year.
The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performances of Services Index fell 1.6 points to 54.4 in December.
The result is still the highest recorded value for Deember since the survey began three years ago. A reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.
Despite 2009 showing the worst average PSI score on record at 48.8, Business New Zealand says the last two months haven shown a better spring in the step for the service sector.
Chief executive Phil O'Reilly says the critical sales and new orders indices remain healthy, which should help fuel overall activity levels into the start of 2010.
The average PSI for 2009 was 48.8, 49.1 in 2008 and 58.1 in 2007.