New export business expands despite looming Brexit vote
New Irish export business expanded in May despite the looming decision Britons are facing about the future of their European membership, new research has shown.
According to the latest Investec Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a number of panellists reported they had secured orders from new clients.
The PMI shows new exports expanded at a stronger pace in May while the overall headline PMI increased to 61.7, up from April's 59.8 reading.
The uptick in the services sector has seen it climb to near pre-crash levels where the overall figure for the sector stood at 64.
The latest reading also outlines that businesses are continuing to hire staff to help deal with increasing client demand as business outstanding remains in positive territory.
Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said the services industry remained upbeat on the outlook with sentiment staying very much in positive territory.
"All in all, this is a very positive report, which is just the tonic after a downbeat Manufacturing PMI release earlier this week.
"In any event, we expect to see stronger readings from both PMIs later this year, assuming our base case that UK voters choose to remain in the EU comes to pass," he said.
Higher staff, fuel and insurance costs caused input prices to increase in the sector with margins being squeezed.
However, Investec said companies were able to hike average prices in May.
Increased prices and higher volumes helped the profitability in the sector scale to a four-month high.