Thursday 19 September 2019

Confidence in the services sector falls to five year low

(Stock image)
(Stock image)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Business confidence in the services sector fell to its lowest level since August 2013 last month.

The dip in confidence comes as worries over a potential slowdown in the economy weighed on company sentiment, according to the latest Services Purchases Managers Index (PMI) from ISH Markit.

Around 43pc of business panellists were confident of a rise in business activity from present levels in 12 months' time, with this optimism linked to expectations of higher new orders, investment and marketing.

While activity in the sector continued to expand sharply during the month, it slowed to its weakest level since March this year.

The headline seasonally adjusted business activity Index posted 57.1 in November, down fractionally from 57.2 in October.

Any reading over 50 is deemed growth.

Central to the rise in business activity was an increase in new orders. Despite this, growth of new work eased from October and was the slowest in two years.

Similarly, new export business expanded at the weakest rate in two years.

On the price front, input cost inflation moderated to a six-month low, but output charges rose at a sharp and accelerated rate. Higher fuel, materials, and staff costs were all mentioned by the business panellists.

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