The decline in the services sector is another sign of a slowing economy, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“The Performance of Services Index is a monthly survey of the New Zealand services sector and provides an indicator of activity levels. A PSI reading above 50 points indicates activity is expanding; below 50 indicates it is contracting. The latest PSI survey shows another decline from 52.9 in November, to 51.9 in December.

“At a time when the country has a lot going for us, our economic growth is slowing. This Government has increased costs, created uncertainty and demonstrated incompetence in key areas, such as KiwiBuild.

“Services represents $140 billion in GDP, our services sector should be growing steadily, instead growth is steadily declining.

“This decline mirrors the decline in manufacturing and economic growth generally – a decline that is occurring because of the Government’s policies.

“Higher taxes, higher costs, stalled infrastructure, burdensome regulation and proven incompetence is putting the brakes on economic opportunities for businesses and workers.

“A slower economy provides fewer opportunities for Kiwis to get ahead.

“We need a government committed to lowering costs for New Zealand businesses and freeing up their ability to do business.”

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