Services sector now expanding at best rate since 2007
IRELAND's services sector is growing at the second-fastest rate in seven years.
Activity has increased every month for the past two years, according to the latest Purchasing Mangers' Index for the sector.
Improved demand helped boost activity, with companies expecting the pace to pick up further over the coming year.
It comes just days after a separate survey showed manufacturing was expanding here at its fastest rate in 15 years, showing further signs of economic recovery.
Philip O'Sullivan, economist with specialist bank Investec, said the service sector had experienced 25 successive months of expansion in business activity.
"All in all, with the headline services PMI at its second highest reading since February 2007 and, as we saw earlier this week, the headline Manufacturing PMI at its highest level since December 1999, it is clear that there is strong momentum behind the bulk of Ireland's private sector at this time," Mr O'Sullivan said.
The seasonally adjusted business activity index rose to 62.4 in August from 61.3 in July. Greater market activity led to another monthly rise in new orders, the 25th in as many months. The rate of expansion remained sharp, despite easing slightly for the second month in a row.
The rate of growth in new export business picked up, however, with the US and UK highlighted as key sources of new work from abroad.
The rate of job creation picked up in August in the sector.