Thursday 15 November 2018

Key services sectors lag in crash recovery

Professional services such as architecture and engineering are still lagging behind the 2007 peak. Stock Image
Professional services such as architecture and engineering are still lagging behind the 2007 peak. Stock Image
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Professional services such as architecture and engineering are still lagging behind the 2007 peak - despite an exceptional rebound in consumer spending.

According to the latest Consumer Market Monitor, a wider index of the services sector was up by 15pc at the end of 2017 over its record high a decade previously.

But professional and technical services are still 13pc below peak.

Professor Mary Lambkin of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, author of the report, said that this sub-sector showed the most extreme peak and trough cycle.

"In particular, architecture and engineering firms, which were inextricably tied to the fortunes of construction, suffered significantly in the economic downturn," she said.

The report also found that sales of residential properties grew in 2017 by 7pc to 51,688, the most since the recession but new building remains low.

"Housebuilding in Ireland is still among the lowest in Europe, and this has impacted the growth of this sub-sector," said Professor Lambkin.

The services sector recovered more quickly from the crash than retail, growing steadily from 2011 onwards.

In the past year, and for the first quarter of 2018, most service sub-sectors showed growth: Professional, Scientific and Technical (up 11.9pc), Administrative Support (up 8.5pc), Wholesale and Retail (up 5.2pc), Accommodation and Food Service (up 3.2pc), Transportation and Storage (up 1.6pc) and Information and Communication (up 1.9pc).

The Consumer Market Monitor (CMM), is published by the Marketing Institute of Ireland and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Irish Independent

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