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NZ service sector growth eases: PSI survey

[WELLINGTON] Growth in New Zealand's services sector eased in January but remains above the long-term norm, a survey showed on Monday.

The Bank of New Zealand-Business NZ's seasonally adjusted performance of services index (PSI) was 55.4 in January versus 58.5 in December. The long term norm is 53.9.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in activity.

Four of the PSI's five sub-indices eased slightly, but all remain expansionary.

A companion manufacturing survey (PMI) last week showed that manufacturing activity in New Zealand rose in January due to growth in production and new orders.

BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert said the PSI combined with the PMI "suggest annual GDP growth running in the range of 3 to 4 per cent". BNZ, however, is forecasting something closer to 2.5 per cent.

REUTERS