18 Jun 2013

Service sector picking up

7:04 am on 18 June 2013

The services side of the economy is steadily expanding at a healthy pace.

The Bank of New Zealand-Business New Zealand Performance of Service Index stood at 56.2 points in May, unchanged from the April result.

A reading above 50 shows the services sector is expanding.

BNZ economist Craig Ebert said the index has enjoyed its best three-month stretch since 2007.

He said the fact the index has been relatively stable at such a robust level is a positive sign.

"It's fairly widespread and the thing we noted most of all is the pick up in the employment index - that had slowed a little bit the previous month."

Unlike some other economic indicators, Mr Ebert said the index's strength is not being driven by the Canterbury rebuild.