19 Sep 2016

Services index picks up pace in August

1:00 pm on 19 September 2016

Activity in the services sector is at its highest level in almost a year.


Activity, sales and new orders in the services sector grew strongly in August. Photo: AFP

The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Services Index rose 3.4 points to 57.9 in August, when compared with July - the highest since December last year.

A reading over 50 indicates expansion. Within the main index, activity, sales and new orders all headed above the 60 mark.

BNZ senior economist Doug Steel said the data suggested solid economic growth.

"The widespread positivity in August's PSI combined with the overall good-looking Performance of Manufacturing Index from last week indicates above trend economic growth has continued into the second half of the year," he said.

Last week's BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index slipped 0.4 points to 55.1 in August, when compared with July.

The employment indicator took a big hit to fall into contraction below 50, following four consecutive rises.

Production also fell, but new orders and deliveries made gains.