New Zealand’s services sector experienced a softening in expansion across all main indicators, according to the BNZ - BusinessNZ Performance of Services Index (PSI).
The PSI for September was 54.1. This was 3.8 points down from August, and very similar to the 54.3 recorded in July (A PSI reading above 50.0 indicates that the service sector is generally expanding; below 50.0 that it is declining).
BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said that while the September result still indicated healthy expansion, comments from respondents tended to show a few seasonal factors at play that gave pause to expansion.
“A number of those who provided negative comments tended to focus on current weather conditions, as well as school holidays affecting operations. This culminated in the proportion of negative comments rising from 34.8% in August to 39.3% in September."
Regarding the latest PSI results, BNZ Senior Economist Doug Steel said “looking through the monthly volatility, there has been some trend slowing in the PSI over recent months. It appears firm’s difficulty in finding staff is one of the obviously many factors involved”.