Tuesday 20 February 2018

Irish services sector expanding at 'blistering pace'

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

The Irish services sector grew at its fastest rate in November since June 2006 with transport and leisure companies leading the charge according to the Investec Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).

The rate of expansion in the sector quickened to its strongest in the last 15 years while staffing levels have reached the highest in the PMI's history.

Technology, media and telecoms also joined the flying sectors as activity in the sector increased to near-record pace while the financial services sector was the only area to record a weaker rise in activity.

Speaking about the results from November's Services PMI chief economist at Investec, Phillip O'Sullivan said: "This is a very encouraging Investec Services PMI, as it reveals that activity in the sector is expanding at a blistering pace, while many components have improved to multi-year highs.

"The headline Business Activity index accelerated to 63.6 in November, implying the fastest rate of growth since June 2006, from October’s 60.1 reading. Expansions in activity have now been registered in each of the past 40 months," Mr O'Sullivan said.

According to the PMI new orders grew to a three-month high and confidence in the sector has also risen substantially.

This is reflected in business sentiment which was at its highest since January 2004.

Higher staff costs and the weakening of the euro contributed to another monthly increase in input prices. Moreover, the rate of inflation quickened to the sharpest since July 2008.

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