Friday 24 November 2017

Service sector new orders expansion at six year high

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

NEW orders in the services sector expanded at the sharpest pace last month in more than six years.

Growth in new business accelerated for the second month running and confidence was at a seven year high, according to the latest services Purchasing Managers’ Index from specialist bank Investec.

The rate of expansion in activity eased from October but remained sharp, while the rate of job creation was little changed from the previous month.

The business activity index hit 57.1 in November, a fall back from the 60.1 seen in October.

Anything above 50 indicates expansion while a figure below that signals contraction.

Investec economist Philip O’Sullivan said the findings show continued strength in the sector during November.

“Although the rate of growth in business activity slowed from the previous month, it remained higher than the series average,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“The services sector has now recorded growth for 16 consecutive months and with confidence improving to a seven year high during November it is likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

“The widespread optimism was reported to be due to general positive sentiment in the wider Irish economy.”

Purchasing Managers’ Indices are watched closely by analysts and are regarded as reliable forward-looking indicators of activity in the economy.

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