17 May 2010

Services sector expansion continues

11:55 am on 17 May 2010

Activity in the services sector continued to expand in April, but at a slower pace than in March.

The BNZ Business New Zealand Performance of Services Index was 54.1 in April, 2.6 points lower than March's result, which was the highest since November 2007.

A score of over 50 indicates expansion.

Activity, sales, new orders, employment, supplier deliveries and inventory all grew during the month, but activity and orders both expanded at a slower pace than in March.

The performance of different industry sectors was also mixed. Property and business services, and wholesale trade both grew strongly during the month.

Cultural, recreational and personal services were flat; while retail, accomodation, cafe and restaurants were all in decline.

BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert, says that while the economy is improving, the recovery has been weaker than anticipated.