Slight apprehension about the latest retails sales detail
had been soothed by April's Performance in Services Index
(PSI), BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert said yesterday.
The BNZ-BusinessNZ PMI was a seasonally-adjusted 58.9 in
April; above 50 indicates expansion.
The Otago-Southland reading was 56.3, Canterbury-Westland was
60.3, central was 60 and northern was 58.1.
''This index has, thankfully, presented a more consistent
growth pulse. Overall, it suggests New Zealand's services
sector is maintaining an expansion at least as forceful as it
was late last year. No slowdown in evidence there,'' Mr Ebert
In terms of the numbers, April's PSI proved very close to
March's 58.5 result, which followed a wobbly looking 52.8 in
February. The three-month average had been restored to 56.5,
nearly identical to the 12-month average.
The details of the PSI portrayed a relatively consistent
pulse, he said.
The seasonally-adjusted sub-indices on activity/sales,
employment, new orders, stocks and deliveries were all
''comfortably above'' their averages.
The regional levels, while not adjusted, were all strong and
all of them up on a year ago, he said.
''You could pretty much throw a blanket over the lot, unlike
for regional retail data.''
The other way the April PSI injected optimism into
perceptions of economic growth was in making up for the
slight under-performance in the month's Performance in
Manufacturing Index, Mr Ebert said.