Services sector slumps to record low in January
16th Feb 09, 4:01pm
The BusinessNZ-BNZ survey of the services sector, the Performance of Service Index (PSI), fell 5.3 points in January to a record low of 42.7, indicating continuing contraction in the sector. Indicators of sales activity, employment intentions, and new orders all fell heavily in the month. All regions were weak. Canterbury/Westland registered a contraction (below 50) for the first time since August last year. Business NZ CEO Phil O'Reilly said the scale of the fall in activity in the services sector was severe. BNZ economists said the rapidly softening labour market was a concern and employment and capital expenditure would be the big things to watch in coming months. "The international economy is now expected to outright contract this year and no-one is immune from it," said BNZ economist Craig Ebert. Here is the full release.