Slower export orders hit service sector in June
New export orders fell for the first time in June putting pressure on the service sector in July.
The NCB Services Purchasing Managers' Index recorded 51.7 in July, down from 52.4 in June - any figure above 50 signals growth.
Overall, new business dropped for the third month in a row as weak economic conditions in Ireland continued and new business from abroad dropped slightly.
The new business index recorded 49.2, with the export orders index falling to 49.6.
'”The EU debt problems, US debt problems and US growth problems are destabilising not only the markets, but also general business confidence,'”said NCB economist Brian Devine.
Companies said that falling orders are forcing them to lay off staff.
Despite a small spike in April, employment in the services sector has now fallen in every month since March 2008.
However, competitiveness is improving with costs falling.
And companies are also upbeat about the future and are expecting increased economic activity in the next year.