New Zealand Service Sector Gains Momentum on New Orders, Sales Growth
The New Zealand Performance of Services Index climbed to 53.7 in February, showing the sector expanded at a faster rate compared with the previous month. An increase in new orders drove the metric higher while a gauge of sales activity also showed very strong results. The service sector makes up around two thirds of the economy, so strong demand here is an encouraging sign for the island nation’s ability to extend its economic recovery for a third consecutive quarter in the three months through December 2009. The report was not without its disappointments however as an index of employment showed the pace of service-sector hiring slowed to the most sluggish in four months, which likely bodes ill for spending and private consumption, the largest component of overall economic growth.
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