Services sector activity down 0.7% in May - CSO
Information and communications, and scientific and technical areas contract sharply
Activity in the services sector decreased by 0.7 per cent between April and May. The transportation and storage sector is one of the areas that showed regular growth in 2013. Photograph: Andrew Milligan /PA Wire.
Activity in the services sector decreased by 0.7 per cent between April and May, as output in the information and communications, and scientific and technical areas contracted sharply.
The Central Statistics Office’s Monthly Services Index, which monitors trends in output in the non-financial traded services sector, fell from a reading of 108.7 in April to a provisional 107.9 in May. A base of 100 was set for the index on its establishment in 2010.
Monthly output in the influential professional, scientific and technical services fell by 4.4 per cent in May, with information and communications output down 3.2 per cent. Activity in the accommodation and food services sector fell by 0.6 per cent.
On a monthly basis, transportation and storage services increased by 1.5 per cent, wholesale and retail trade output was up by 1.3 per cent, administrative and support service activities were up by 0.6 per cent and other service activities rose by 0.1 per cent.
Services output, excluding financial services, grew by 0.7 per cent in the first five months of this year. In the same period in 2012, output grew by 1.6 per cent.
To date this year, administrative and support service activities has shown the largest increase (up 18.4 per cent) followed by transportation and storage (up 7.6 per cent). Professional, scientific and technical activities ( down 8.5 per cent) and wholesale and retail trade ( down 3 per cent) have been the poorest performers.
A separate survey, Investec’s monthly Services Purchasing Managers’ Index, published yesterday said the service sector expanded for the 11th month in a row in June. Unlike the CSO survey, the Investec index includes the financial services sector.