THE services sector expanded for the 14th month in a row in a September but at a slower rate.
The Investec Purchasing Managers' Index of service sector activity fell to 56.8 in September from 61.6 in August.
The 61.6 reading had been the highest since February 2007 although the September figure was well above the 50 reading that separates growth from contraction.
"The underlying trends for the Irish services sector remain broadly positive," said Investec Ireland's chief economist Philip O'Sullivan.
"Our base case for the Irish economy is that growth will accelerate in H2 of this year and into 2014 on the back of a stabilising domestic economy and improving export markets," the economist added.
The services sector covers a range of businesses from hotels to banks.