19 Aug 2013

Figures suggest strong growth in manufacturing

1:44 pm on 19 August 2013

A measure of activity in the services sector in July shows it's at its highest level for the month of July since the survey began in 2007.

The BNZ-BusinessNZ Performance of Services Index rose 3 points to 58.1 and the index so far in 2013 has averaged nearly 56 points.

A figure above 50 indicates the services sector is expanding.

Bank of New Zealand economist Craig Ebert says both the services index and the similar measure of manufacturing activity are suggesting strong and accelerating growth.

"It tells us what a lot of other indices are telling us and that is that growth is starting to accelerate," he says.

"We know that the last few years has been a source of frustration on lots of counts and just when things looked to be picking up, something came out of the woodwork to put the kaibosh on it. But now the indicators, barring another shock, are telling us that GDP is not only picking up but potentially to a very strong rate as soon as the end of the year."

Other figures out on Monday show the output producers price index rose 1% in the June quarter while the input producers price index climbed 0.6%.

As well, the price of purchasing new capital items rose 0.5% in the three months to the end of June with a major contributer being the 1.4% rise in the residential buildings price index.

Mr Ebert says the figures show inflation is far from dead.

"If you look at it, there are some signs that ... we shouldn't think inflation is particularly low and certainly not as low as the CPI measure has recently indicated," he says.