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Services industry continued to grow in March but expansion slower

THE SERVICES industry continued to grow in March but expansion was slower than in previous months.

Services businesses here grew for the eighth successive month but at the slowest pace since last August.

The figures are from NCB Stockbroker’s purchasing managers index, which measures the overall health of the Irish services sector on a single number scale. A figure over 50 means the sector is expanding; under 50 means it is shrinking.

March’s headline figure was 52.3, down from 53.6 in February, but still a sign of growth.

In contrast the services sector across the eurozone contracted for the fourteenth successive month. Growth slumped to near-stagnation in European powerhouse Germany, while France’s services industry shrank at the fastest rate since February 2009.

Online Editors