Economy grows for third month

THE IRISH economy shows some glimmer of growth as the services sector grew for the third month in succession in April.

Ireland returned to recession in the final three months of 2011. The services sector slumped to a 12-month low in January, but economic data since then has shown activity returning to levels seen early last year when the economy was expanding.

export orders

However, business expectations slipped and prices achieved fell at their fastest rate in four months, according to the NCB Purchasing Managers' Index.

The survey, which measures activity in the services sector, increased to 52.2 in April from 52.1, above the 50 mark that signals growth for the third month in a row.

New export orders increased, buoyed by rising spending on marketing, but the rate of growth eased marginally to the weakest in three months.

One quarter of panellists recorded growth of new export orders in April, compared with just 9pc who recorded a contraction.