Activity in the services sector has continued to show strong growth in all regions and all sectors.
The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Services Index for March rose 1.6 points to 57.6 from February, with the buoyant activity driving demand for skilled labour.
A reading above 50 points indicates expansion.
Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly said the service sector is expanding at a brisk pace.
"There's the strongest growth in Auckland and Canterbury but there is strong growth across all the indices as well."
"What that does is that we are building strength in the economy, despite the fact that some of the usual drives aren't there at the moment, such as a strong dairy price," he said.
Mr O'Reilly said the growth is confirmed by the value of electronic card transactions in March, which rose 5.2 percent on the year earlier.