Growth pulse more consistent

Craig Ebert
Craig Ebert
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 said.

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.

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