14 Mar 2016

Services sector expands in February

1:46 pm on 14 March 2016

Activity in the services sector has risen, helped by strong sales and new orders.

Eftpos

Photo: AFP

The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Services index rose 1.5 points to 56.9 last month, compared with January.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Sales and new orders hit a level of 60 or more, while the employment gauge rose to 53.5.

Business New Zealand's chief executive Kirk Hope said a strong tourism sector was flowing through in the data.

"An overall increase in expansion also saw a lift in the proportion of positive comments from respondents, rising from 59.7 percent in January to 67.6 percent in February.

"While some comments revolved around seasonal factors, a number noted increased tourist numbers, as well as proactive steps to increase market share."

The services index follows last week's manufacturing numbers which remain in expansion, but did see some contraction on the employment side.

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