Service sector expanding at fastest level since financial crash
The country's services sector grew at its fastest pace in nine years in June, thanks to increases in new business and prices charged, according to a new survey.
The Investec Purchasing Managers' Index of activity in services, which covers businesses from banks to hotels, stood at 63.3 in June, up from 61.4 in the previous month, beating the eight-year high of 62.6 posted in December last year.
Ireland was the fastest-growing economy in the European Union last year and most economic indicators have been positive this year, although a separate survey showed manufacturing expanded at its slowest rate in 16 months in June.
Thirty-eight percent of panellists in the services sector registered a rise in activity during the month, compared with 8pc reporting a decline. Retail and tourism were among the strongest.
Around 60pc of respondents forecast an increase in activity over the coming 12 months. Just 5pc predicted a decrease.
"Given the improving signs around both the key export markets for services firms based here and the domestic economy, we believe that this optimism is well-founded," Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said.
The new business sub-index hit its highest level in six months, climbing to 63.7 from 63.0, although new export business declined marginally.