Lift in service
New Zealand’s services sector experienced a lift in expansion levels during March, according to the BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Services Index (PSI).
The PSI for March was 58.8, which was 3.5 points higher than February (A PSI reading above 50.0 indicates that the service sector is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining). This was the highest level of expansion since January 2017, and moved expansion beyond a tight band of activity from September through to February.
BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said that the key sub-indices of activity/sales (64.1) and new orders/business (63.7) both displayed strong growth, with the former rising 10.7 points from February.
“Given both the PSI and its sister survey the Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) has recently shown activity levels down on 2017, the lift in March is welcome."
BNZ Senior Economist Doug Steel said that "whether its Easter timing, weather influences, or something else, the volatility counsels caution in interpreting current data. It’s definitely possible the March PSI result overstates the underlying trend".