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Activity index slumps

BUSINESS activity in the country's services sector signalled contraction for the first time in four months.

The latest NCB Services Purchasing Managers index fell to 48.9 last month from 52.2 in April due to a stagnation of new orders and fragile client confidence.

Any figure over 50 signals growth in a sector, while a figure under 50 signals contraction.

The seasonally adjusted Irish Business Activity Index is a measure of Irish services activity and is based on a single question asking respondents to report on the actual change in business activity at their companies compared to one month ago.