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New Zealand Services Growth Slows Sharply In February

New Zealand's service sector expansion slowed sharply in February to its weakest rate since in seven-and-a-half years, survey figures from Business NZ showed on Monday.

The performance of services index, or PSI, dropped to 52.0 in February from 57.2 in January. However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

This was the lowest level of expansion since September 2012.

The sub-index for new orders fell to 54.6 in February from 62.9. Supplier deliveries was the lowest since November 2008, with the relevant index declining to 44.2.

"Like its sister survey the PMI, there was a marked increase in the number of respondents mentioning Covid-19," BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said.

"How much more this plays out in the months ahead will obviously depend on the ability to slow down its spread both domestically and offshore."

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