Service sector takes off

John Scandrett.
John Scandrett.
Otago's service sector heads the country with a burst in expansion for July, underpinned by an uplift in tourism and the retail sectors.

Nationally, the monthly BNZ Business New Zealand performance of services index rose 3.2 points from 55.2 in June to 58.4 points.

Figures above 50 indicate expansion, while those below point to contraction.

Northern North Island is on 58.4, Central North Island 60.1, Canterbury/Westland 57.5 and Otago/Southland 65.4.

Otago Southland Employers' Association chief executive John Scandrett said he had expected to see a regional activity uplift in tourism and retail sectors and the latest index, moving from 56.1 points in June to 65.4 points in July has confirmed the expansionary-focused forecast.

''The July buoyancy in local services activities has also been felt across health, community and business services but as usual not all operators have seen an equally strong lift,'' Mr Scandrett said.

Conversely, the separate manufacturing index released late last week was nationally in its 22nd consecutive month of expansion, while Otago Southland was in its third consecutive month of contraction.

Mr Scandrett said the services index showed clearly weather had slowed some home services and decorating sector outcomes and construction lagged behind expectations.

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