The economic performance of Otago-Southland's services sector
during January has ''flattened considerably'' into
contraction, after three previous months of expansion.
Otago-Southland has been running counter to national results:
the BNZ Business New Zealand performance of services index
for January recorded a national gain of 1.1 points to 52.6
from December, following points declines of 3.6 and 2.7
during the previous two months. A reading above 50 indicates
expansion and below that, contraction.
The northern and central North Island regions were at 50.9
and 54.4 respectively.
Canterbury Westland sat at 49.8, with Otago-Southland
trailing at 42 points; having almost led the four regions at
63.2 a year ago. Otago-Southland Employers' Association chief
executive John Scandrett said it had been many months since
such strongly negative survey comments had been recorded
across the wholesale trades.
If the associated orders, stocks and deliveries sub-indices
provide an indication of forward direction, the sector ''will
remain flat for some time''.
''In the lead-up to the festive season the regional trading
patterns were, as expected, on the right side of the
expansion versus contraction fence, but clearly economic
performance in the sector flattened considerably in
January,'' Mr Scandrett said.