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New Zealand Service Sector Growth Quickens In January

2/18/2013 12:30 AM ET

Activity in New Zealand's service sector increased at a faster rate in January, helped by a notable increase in new orders, data from a survey by BusinessNZ showed Monday.

The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the service sector increased to 52.6 in January from 51.5 in December, marking the first monthly increase since October. An index reading above 50 signals expansion, while one below suggests decline.

New business received by New Zealand service providers increased at a faster rate in January. Reflecting the growth in orders, output also grew at a faster pace. Services providers, meanwhile, reduced their workforces during the month after raising them modestly in the previous month.

Activity in the property and business services division rose at a slower pace, and wholesale trade expanded at the slowest rate since April last year. Meanwhile, activity in health and community services recovered from two consecutive months in expansion, and hit the highest level since March 2012.

At the same time, the composite output index, which measures performance of both the manufacturing sector and the service sector, increased to 53.1 in January from 50.2 in December, data showed.

by RTT Staff Writer

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