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NZ services sector activity slips in June, stays firmly positive as new orders grow

Monday 15th July 2013

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New Zealand's services sector slipped from a six-year high in June while remaining broadly in expansion mode, led by new orders and sales.

The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Services Index fell to 55 last month, from 56.2 in May, still the highest for the month of June since 2007. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in activity.

The PSI follows the release last of its sister survey, the performance of manufacturing index, which slipped from a nine-year high last month, while still holding at the highest for a June month since 2004 and highlighting an economy that is still growing at a modest pace. New orders rose to 59.7 in June while sales gained to 57.1.

The June PSI is "maybe not a gold medal performance, but surely a solid silver," said Doug Steel, economist at Bank of New Zealand. Still, "a new orders index at close to 60 is getting up there and bodes well for expansion ahead."

Of the other three main diffusion indexes, employment slipped back to 50.1 from 53.6 in May, stocks/inventories rose to 53.8 and supplier deliveries fell to 55.

On a regional breakdown, the Northern region fell 3.7 points to 54.9 and the Central region declined 2.3 points to 50.9. Canterbury/Westland jumped to 53.3 in June after two months of contraction and Otago/Southland recorded 56.9, the highest since March.

The combined manufacturing and services index, the BNZ-BusinessNZ Performance of Composite Index slipped last month. The GDP-Weighted Index fell 1.4 points to 55 and the Free-Weighted Index fell 2.4 points to 55.2.

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