Growth in New Zealand's services sector continued to be strong in February, making a four-month run of "stable and solid" expansion, according to the latest performance of services index (PSI) out Monday.
The BNZ-Business New Zealand PSI for February was 58.8 on a scale where above 50 indicates expansion and below 50 contraction.
Although it was 0.7 points lower than January, it was still the second highest level of expansion since November 2015, Business New Zealand chief executive Kirk Hope said in a statement.
"What's continued to drive solid expansion levels has been in no small part due to the sub-indices of activity-sales and new orders-business remaining over the 60-point mark," said Hope.
BNZ senior economist Doug Steel said the PSI had shown "minimal movement over recent months, and even not all much change of the past four years."
"The persistently high level of the PSI indicates that the service sector is growing at a strong and steady pace," Steel said in the statement.
Growth in services was integral to the 0.4-percent rise in gross domestic product in the quarter ending December 2016, when manufacturing and primary sector activity dipped, he said.
GDP growth in the previous quarter was 0.8 percent.
The GDP-weighted performance of composite index, which combines the PSI and the performance of manufacturing index, dipped by 0.4 percent from January to 58.3 last month.