Business Irish

Sunday 16 December 2018

Services growth slows to a four-month low

Companies have responded to the increase in demand by taking on more staff. (Stock image)
Companies have responded to the increase in demand by taking on more staff. (Stock image)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Growth in the services sector slowed to a four-month low in July, according to the latest Services Purchasers Managers Index from specialist bank Investec.

However the headline PMI of 57.4, while down from June's reading of 59.5, it is still consistent, with a sharp rate of expansion in activity.

Any reading over 50 reflects growth.

Growth in the sector was drive by strong demand, with the new orders and new export business components of the index both pointing to a substantial expansion in client orders.

In terms of overseas business, firms mentioned the UK, India, France and the Netherlands as particular bright spots, according to Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan.

Companies have responded to the increase in demand by taking on more staff, with the employment index recording its 71st successive above-50 reading.

During the month, costs rose sharply, which firms blamed on higher beverage, fuel, insurance and rental prices.

A number of firms also indicated that salaries and wages had been raised due to a higher cost of living and efforts to retain staff.

Irish Independent

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