NZ service sector activity keeps expanding in January, driven by new orders

Craig Ebert

New Zealand services sector activity, which accounts for about two thirds of the economy, expanded for a ninth month in January, underpinned by a six-and-a-half year high in new orders.

The BNZ-BusinessNZ performance of services index increased 0.5 points to 58.1, the highest level since November 2007, and was up from 53.3 a year earlier. A reading of 50 or higher indicates the sector is in expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

The PSI was led by new orders/business with a reading of 66.1, its highest level since June 2007, followed by activity/sales with a reading of 63.2. Employment rose 2.6 points to 55.2. Supplier deliveries fell into contraction with a reading of 47.7 from 52.9 in December, as did stocks/inventories with 45.6, down from 54.2.

"The surge in new orders fits with the other story of the latest PSI, that of inventory slimming at a rate of knots," BNZ economist Craig Ebert said in his note. "In short, service sector firms look to be caught short on this account."

Still, Ebert said that was a sign of "surprisingly strong upswing in demand."

The seasonally adjusted BNZ-BusinessNZ performance of composite index, which combines the PSI with the performance of manufacturing index, increased 0.2 points to 57.9 on a GDP-weighted basis, and was up 0.4 points to 57.4 on a free-weighted basis.

Today's PSI showed Otago/Southland had the fastest expansion at 60.2, followed by 57.9 in the Northern region, while Canterbury/Westland was at 50.1. The Central region experienced its first contraction since March with a reading of 48.6.

Retail trade remained the most positive sub-sector at 66.3, followed by wholesale trade at 62.1 and accommodation, cafes and restaurants at 61.4. Property and business services reported a 52.2 reading and transport and storage 50.1. Health and community services activity showed a contraction at 44.7, due to the summer holiday break.

(BusinessDesk)


Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7327 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.9211 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6140 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.5434 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 5.7285 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 82.1000 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1293.3 6.130 2017-09-22T00:
Oil Brent 56.4 0.420 2017-09-22T00:
Oil Nymex 50.7 0.110 2017-09-22T00:
Silver Index 16.9 -0.034 2017-09-22T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7795.4 7814.8 7795.4 0.25%
NASDAQ 6401.4 6429.5 6422.7 0.07%
DAX 12569.7 12646.6 12600.0 -0.06%
DJI 22334.1 22364.3 22359.2 -0.04%
FTSE 7263.9 7320.3 7263.9 0.64%
HKSE 27949.8 27960.9 28110.3 -0.82%
NI225 20413.6 20417.1 20347.5 -0.25%
ASX 5655.4 5688.2 5655.4 0.47%