Growth in services sector picks up, but sentiment declines
Growth in the services sector picked up in February, as the number of new orders expanded.
However, there was a slowdown in the pace of job creation, as well as stronger inflation.
Despite the faster rise in business activity, sentiment among Irish service providers regarding year-ahead activity weakened to its lowest level since May 2013.
The headline seasonally adjusted Business Activity Index from AIB posted 55.9 in February, up from 54.2 at the start of 2019.
The index is an indicator designed to provide a single-figure measure of the health of the manufacturing industry.
Activity among Irish service providers has now increased on a monthly basis since August 2012.
At the sector level, financial services companies posted the fastest rise in business activity.
Underpinning the faster rise in business activity was a quickening of new order growth in February. The rate of expansion was marked amid reports by panellists of improving economic conditions and successful marketing efforts.
Transport & Leisure companies posted the fastest increase in overall new business.
New business from abroad also rose, though at the slowest pace in the current 27-month sequence of expansion.