Levels show ‘rude growth’ of economy

Craig Ebert.
Craig Ebert.
New Zealand’s service sector experienced a lift in expansion in August, as measured by the BNZ-BusinessNZ Performance of Services Index (PSI).

BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert said, when taken together, the latest PSI

and Performance of Manufacturing Index results formed a picture of  overall "rude growth" in the New Zealand economy.

"The composite index continues to point to annual GDP growth running in the order of 3% to 4%."

The national PSI level for August was 57.3, 1.5 points higher than July’s level. A PSI reading above 50 indicates the sector is generally expanding and below 50 shows a decline.

The  manufacturing index level was 57.9 in August, up from 55.5 in July.

The PMI level of Otago-Southland’s service industry  was 55.8 in August, slightly lower than in July, but still in expansion, Otago-Southland Employers Association chief executive Virginia Nicholls said.

The regional breakdown in categories was positive. Orders and new business recorded 66.7, activity/sales levels and employment levels were both at 54.2, supplier deliveries was 50 and stock/inventories was the only category in contraction at 45.5.

As most of the categories were in expansion, the future looked promising, she said.Both the  wholesale and retail food trades were reporting positive trends.

Services supplying the construction industry were busy, something expected to continue.

"The bad weather has affected some tourist operators. Many tourist operators are now gearing up for what is expected to be a busy summer tourist season."

The Canterbury-Westland Employers Chamber of Commerce led regional growth on 59.4, Business Central was on 55.7 and Northern EMA was at 54.7.

Mr Ebert said  little in either the manufacturing or services  index report indicated election nerves.

Similarly, the driving force in the latest services index proved to be new orders/business, which accelerated to 63.1, along with activity/sales at 62.9.

Annual economic growth of 3% to 4% indicated by the indices was more than the BNZ was formally forecasting for the near term, he said. The BNZ was expecting GDP, or economic growth, to be 2.5% when the figures were released on Thursday.

"While this pick-up is stoked by primary industry production, the expansion continues to be underpinned by the services sector, in our estimation."

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