There was a clear North-South divide in the BNZ-BusinessNZ
performance in services index for August as Otago-Southland
and Canterbury-Westland remained below the significant
The New Zealand PMI remained above 50 points - which
indicates expansion rather than contraction - for the the
37th consecutive month.
The northern region on 55.5 led the way, despite falling 7.1
points from July. The central region (53.5) improved two
points, to its highest value since April this year.
In the South Island, Canterbury-Westland fell back further
from July to 42.1 and the Otago-Southland region experienced
a significant drop for August, down to 36.5 due to low
activity and new business.
Otago-Southland Employers Association chief executive John
Scandrett said the July PMI drew attention to a negative
reshaping of regional orders and new business.
''The August survey has unfortunately provided confirmation
of a local sector slow-down. Both sales and forward order
sub-indices slipped in August to a contraction-based 33.3
''It appears one man's gain is another's loss, since the
recent warm weather patterns have provided opportunities for
construction services and decorating operators.
"At the same time, winter tourism operators have not seen
ideal conditions that drive and influence anticipated visitor
levels,'' he said.
BusinessNZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly said the New Zealand
2013 August PMI reading was up on 2012 but down on 2011.
The lower level of expansion during August meant the
proportion of positive comments dropped from 62% to 54%.
Of those who provided positive comments, many outlined the
general positive business environment, along with a more
buoyant attitude. Many of those who provided negative
comments cited competitive pressures.
BNZ economist Doug steel said overall positive trends in the
service sector imitated those in manufacturing, building and
''It all bodes well for stronger economic growth ahead, after
what appears to have been a soft second quarter. The positive
overall economic picture makes it difficult to get too
downbeat on some of the softer details in August's PSI.
Still, they are worth monitoring.''