18 Mar 2013

Services sector activity picks up

1:13 pm on 18 March 2013

Activity in the services sector has picked up, providing another sign of a solid economic recovery.

The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Services Index rose nearly 3 points to 55.5 last month, its highest level for a February since the survey began in 2007. A reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.

New orders and sales led the way, while employment had its strongest showing since April last year.

BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert said the robust growth is broad-based with all sectors other than finance and insurance rising.

Mr Ebert said the drought and the high New Zealand dollar are weighing on the pace of the recovery.