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The service sector in New Zealand continued to contract in September, albeit at a much slower pace, the latest survey from BusinessNZ showed on Monday with a Performance of Service Index score of 46.9.

That’s up sharply from the downwardly revised 35.4 in August (originally 35.6), although it remains beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Among the individual components, sales (45.3), new orders (47.5) and supplier deliveries (42.1) were in contraction, while employment (52.0) and stocks and inventories (51.5) expanded.

“Subdued new orders warn against expecting too much of a bounce in coming months. Of course, the spread of COVID, vaccination rates, and any restriction changes will have a very large bearing on that,” said BNZ Senior Economist Doug Steel.


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