Service Sector Supports Economic Growth

15 August 2011 - Which Way to Pay

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Service Sector Supports Economic Growth

The New Zealand service sector has shown enough momentum to resist the latest bout of global financial volatility. Service sector growth has been witnessed for the sixth consecutive month this July.

Figures released from Business NZ (BNZ) Performance of Services Index (PSI) slipped 0.2 points to 54.5 in July. Growth in the sector was further underpinned by the fact that new orders extended gains to 58.6 where supplier delivery rose 0.9 points to 52.

"Today's PSI was yet another reminder that the New Zealand economy is, or at least was, headed in the right direction," commented Stephen Toplis, the head of research at BNZ in a report;

"We stick to our view that there was sufficient pre-volatility momentum in the economy to provide some confidence that we might fumble our way through this mess."

However, such a positive outlook cannot be echoed by the sister series on manufacturing, therefore showing the service sector continues to buffer the NZ economy ever since the selling of wares by local producers across Tasman in response to the worst of the global economic downturn.

That said, at the start of August the government revealed figures showing that the kiwi unemployment rate was stable at 6.5% in the three months ending June 30. In spite of the statistics claiming stability, it is also true that retail and accommodation employers shed 22,000 staff in that period, making the total sector job loss 325,000.

Phil O’Reilly, BNZ chief executive said that the employment figures were; "disappointing given it had managed to keep its head above water for the previous five months."

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