Shopping activity helps drive economic activity in Otago and Southland. Photos by ODT.
The good news continues to roll out for Otago and Southland,
as the Performance in Services Index results for November
provided the region with a good start to the festive and
summer holiday season.
Otago-Southland Employers Association chief executive John
Scandrett said yesterday the BNZ-BusinessNZ survey showed the
region with a 72.4-point result, by far the highest in New
Zealand last month.
The second-highest result was northern on, 60.9 points.
Sub-sector feedback across construction, selected tourism and
accommodation, retail and wholesale activities had
underpinned the result.
''Positive comments have flowed around such aspects as a
notable lift in visitor numbers, unanticipated summer season
sales and some general recognition of warmer weather patterns
driving early pre-Christmas shopping activity.''
As usual, there had been some borderline sector assessment,
This month, there were some negative opinions expressed by
property services and selected tourism operators who had not
apparently seen the same level or activity lift as other
firms in the sector.
The region also led the Performance in Manufacturing Index
released on Friday.
The national PSI for November was 56.3. Although this was
down 1.4 points from October, the last three months had
remained in the 56-57 expansion range.
A PSI reading above 50 indicates that the service sector is
generally expanding and below 50 it is declining. So far in
2013, the PSI has averaged 55.7, compared with 54 for the
same time period in 2012.
BusinessNZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly said the last three
months had provided values which showed expansion was well
''This is also clearly reflected by the positive comments by
''The proportion of positive comments is now at almost 74%,
compared with 71% in October.
"This represents a clear signal from a large proportion of
the business community that a range of influences, including
the pre-Christmas rush, finer weather, the flow-on work from
the Christchurch earthquake rebuild and increased consumer
confidence are flowing through to the main indicators of
activity, sales and new business opportunities,'' he said.
BNZ economist Doug Steel noted the labour market implications
from November's positive results showed overall employment
was on the rise.
The rise in the PSI and PMI employment indicators suggested
labour demand was accelerating.
The indicators were consistent with the unemployment rate
falling below 6% in short order.
"Westpac's current projections had annual employment growth
above 3% by mid-2014, or sooner, going by the latest PMI and
PSI indicators,'' Mr Steel said.