Services sector is growing at fastest rate since 2007

Resurgence in the PMI index points to improving economic fundamentals

The services sector, incorporating  businesses such as hotels and retail, is growing at the fastest rate since February 2007, new data shows. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The services sector, incorporating businesses such as hotels and retail, is growing at the fastest rate since February 2007, new data shows. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Mon, Jan 6, 2014, 10:24

Further signs of an economic recovery are evident in the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index of activity in the services sector, which grew for the 17th straight month. The index hit 61.8 in December, the highest level since February 2007, up from 57.1 in November.

Compiled by Investec, the guage covers businesses from banks to hotels, and the December index showed particularly strong growth in employment and new export orders. Employment advanced for the 16 month in a row in December.

“Within the data we see much to be optimistic about,” said Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O’Sullivan says that the data shows that there is “much to be optimistic about”

“The pace of growth in new business quickened for a third successive month during December, with respondents citing strengthening economic conditions and improved client confidence,” he said.

The survey also shows that for a fifth successive month all sub-segments (business services, financial services, technology, media and telecoms and travel & leisure) reported growth in new business.

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