Sharechat Logo

NZ services activity expands for first time in four months in March

Monday 16th April 2018

Text too small?

New Zealand's services sector activity, which accounts for about two-thirds of the economy, expanded for the first time in four months, in March, led by strong sales growth after a storm-dented start to the year.

 

The BNZ-BusinessNZ performance of services index rose to a seasonally adjusted 58.8 last month from 55.3 in February. The activity/sales sub-index jumped to 64.1, near the highest since the PSI survey started 11 years ago, from 54.3 in February.

 

The bounce back may have reflected the early timing of Easter this year and the impact of cyclone damage in February, said Doug Steel, senior economist at Bank of New Zealand.

 

"Whether it's Easter timing, weather influences, or something else, the volatility counsels caution in interpreting current data," he said. "It’s definitely possible the March PSI result overstates the underlying trend."

 

The PSI comes after the manufacturing PMI survey for March, released last week, showed a drop off in activity to by 1.1 points to 52.2.

 

"A stronger PSI is pleasing to see, especially in the context of the slowing we saw in last week’s Performance of Manufacturing Index," Steel said. "Combined, these indicators suggest reasonable GDP growth has continued into 2018."

 

The seasonally adjusted composite index, which combines the PSI and the PMI,  rose 2.5 points to 57.5 on a GDP-weighted basis and edged up 1 point to 55.5 on a free-weighted basis.

 

Services sector employment intentions remained relatively weak - at 50.5 in March from 50.6 in February, today's survey showed. New orders/business strengthened to 63.7 from 60.8 and stocks/inventories gained to 56.2 from 54.5.

 

Supplier deliveries rose to 56 from 54.8 in February.

 

(BusinessDesk)

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comment:
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as MSCI changes debated, Mercury falls, Fletcher gains
NZ dollar heads for 1.6% weekly fall as greenback finds favour on rate hike view
FMA keeping close tabs on Australian Royal Commission as AMP chief Meller departs
NZ's R&D tax incentive plan viewed as positive by business
SkyCity wants at least A$200M for Darwin casino; private consortium most likely buyer: report
Syft sales jump more than 50%, profit growth misses target on production costs
Fletcher shares gain after shortfall bookbuild cleared at premium to offer price
T&G Global to sell Kerikeri assets to Seeka in deal worth about $40m
USX: Syft Technologies update to shareholders
NZX first-quarter revenue edges up with busier secondary market

IRG See IRG research reports