Service sector expansion slows
The services sector slowed from a canter to a trot in February, but is still expanding and remains healthy, according to a business survey.
The latest BNZ- Business NZ Performance of Services Index was 53.1 points in February, down 4.7 points from January. An index above 50 indicates the sector is expanding, and below 50 that it is contracting.
The index has averaged 56.5 points in the past six months.
BusinessNZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly said that although there was a more moderate level of expansion in February, the sector was still "healthy". Key indicators of production, new orders and employment were still at solid levels of expansion.
BNZ economist Doug Steel said the February PSI results looked a bit soft at face value, but only when lined up against the exceptional strength from January.
"Looking through the monthly wiggles, growth trends in the service sector appear strong in early 2014," he said.