27 Jan 2014

Services sector growth robust

11:49 am on 27 January 2014

Growth in the services sector continues to be robust, helped by rampant retailing over the Christmas period.

The Bank of New Zealand-Business New Zealand Performance of Services Index was up more than a point at 57.5 in December, compared with 56.4 in November. A reading about 50 indicates expansion.

Over the last year, the PSI averaged 55.8, compared with 53.9 in 2012.

All five main sub-indices were in expansion last month, including new orders and business, activity and sales, and employment.

The retail sub-index hit 74.5 points and, although this was not adjusted for seasonal affects, it's 13.5 points above the same month in 2012.

Bank of New Zealand economist Craig Ebert said the services index signals strong growth in the sector towards the end of last year, and bodes well for 2014.