Business Irish

Saturday 21 October 2017

Irish services industry growing at slowest rate since 2014

Chinese food (Stock photo)
Chinese food (Stock photo)
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

The Irish services industry continued to expand in August, however new business in the sector is expanding at the slowest rate since February 2014, new figures have shown.

According to the Investec Services Purchasing Managers' Index, the rate of expansion in new exports slipped to a five-month low with a number of parties reporting lower amounts of new orders from the UK. This dip in UK orders was in part down to the strength of the euro against the sterling after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

The headline figure for the month of August stood at 59.7, up slightly on July's 59.5 outturn.

Business outstanding continued to expand last month despite a slowdown in client demand, however a number of companies say this was down to an increase in staff shortages. In a move to curb this firms will continue to look to add to their headcoutns.

Investec chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said: "Notwithstanding the softer growth in new orders, companies continue to exhibit a positive outlook, with the business activity: expected levels in 12 Months’ Time index strengthening to a three month high as nearly 17 times as many firms expect to see a rise in activity over the coming year against those who forecast a fall.

"Data for the sub-components of the Services sector that are covered in this survey (Financial Services, Business Services, TMT and Transport & Leisure) show that firms across all four segments expect to see growth over the coming year, as they have for 51 successive months now."

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