WELLINGTON, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Growth in New Zealand's service sector slowed last month after a surge in July, according to the latest performance of services index (PSI) out Monday.
The BNZ-Business New Zealand PSI for August was 53.2, down 5 points from July, the lowest level of activity since January.
The PSI in the year to date had averaged 54.5, on a scale where above 50 indicates expansion and below 50 contraction.
Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly said an August figure that trumped July's result would have been remarkable given the previous month's result was the highest since 2007.
Many of the respondents had cited competitive pressures, O' Reilly said in a statement.
BNZ economist Doug Steel said in the statement that the overall positive trends in the service sector imitated those in the manufacturing, building and agriculture sectors and boded well for stronger economic growth ahead after a soft second quarter.
The GDP-weighted performance of composite index, which combines the performance of manufacturing index and the PSI, fell 4.4 points from July to 54.