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Service sector growth patchy in Nov

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016 Marty Silk

Australia's service sector activity is continuing to gradually increase but growth remains patchy across the sector.

The Australian Industry Group's Performance of Services Index (PSI) rose 0.6 points to 51.1 points in November, remaining above the 50 point level signifying expansion.

However, Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said the lift, which builds on a rise the previous month, was not substantial enough.

"The small lift in the pace of expansion in the services sector is encouraging although it remains well short of a convincing rebound from its recent slump," Mr Willox said in a statement on Monday.

The sub-index on new orders rose strongly and deliveries swung into expansion in November, while the employment sub-index remained stable.

However, the sales index slipped into negative territory last month.

Meanwhile only four of nine service sub-sectors - health and community services, personal and recreational services, finance and insurance, and property and business services expanded in November.

Retail trade, wholesale trade, hospitality, communications and transport and storage all contracted in the month.

"The patchiness across the sector remains of concern and service providers will be looking for further momentum in the pre-Christmas period to provide a strong base for a firmer lift in the early part of 2017," Mr Willox said.

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