Australia's services sector finished 2013 in negative territory with the Australian Performance of Services Index (PSI) down 2.8 points to 46.1 in December, the Australian Industry (Ai Group) said Monday.
Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said the services sector showed signs of improvement following the federal election, but the December result showed that the industry was still in the doldrums.
"Continuing weakness in the important services sector underlines the fragility of the domestic economy at a time when a lift in non-mining related activity is needed to meet the challenge of rebalancing in the wake of the mining investment boom, " Willox said in a statement.
The December Ai Group Australian PSI also showed sales, new orders, employment all contracted during the month, despite retail sector receiving a boost from the Christmas rush.
The Ai Group Australian PSI is a leading indicator of services activity in the Australian economy.
Readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity, with the distance from 50 indicative of the strength of the decline.