While Otago-Southland remained on the right side of the
expansionary versus contraction band in the latest
BNZ-BusinessNZ Performance of Services Index, there was a
''mixed range'' of survey feedback.
The region had a 53.4 value point PSI for December, returning
to levels of activity similar to those seen in October.
The majority of operators across tourism, property services
and construction-decorating sectors were satisfied with
However, the overall level of wholesale trading, in a
wide-range of sub-sector applications, seemed to have failed
to generate ''any real excitement'' from a business
perspective, Otago Southland Employers Association chief
executive John Scandrett said.
As expected, given the mediocre aggregated PSI result, the
sub-indices readings all hovered close to 50 point break-even
The employment sub-index, on balance, was ''marginally''
ahead of the other results and that was a promising sign,
given the relatively sluggish nature of overall sector
performance, Mr Scandrett said.
It was interesting the December services sector activity
levels, across the country, remained relatively flat and did
not, in any region, deliver the robust trading outcomes
usually associated with the festive season, he said.
The seasonally adjusted BNZ-BusinessNZ Performance of Service
Index (PSI) nationally for December was 51.5, down 2.7 points
from November and down 6.3 points over the last two months.
BusinessNZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly said 2012 had been
mostly positive for the service sector, although the second
half of the year provided mixed results.
When comparing the PSI with its sister survey the PMI, the
service sector had held up, despite another difficult trading
year. However, 2012 had ''ended with more of a whimper than a
bang'' as new activity-sales slowed and employment remained
BNZ economists said the most positive message to take from
the December results was the jobs growth area.
''The PSI staffing index is decently above the line. When
combined with other pointers to jobs across the economy, we
have good reason to believe employment growth is in the
throes of picking up, perhaps to as much as 2% for 2013 as a
whole. This would amount to an addition of about 45,000
jobs,'' the bank said.