Dublin business activity accelerates in first quarter, fuelling job growth

Survey of 200 businesses conducted by S&P Global indicates an increase in commercial activity levels between January and March

Dublin’s services sector was the main driver of an increase in business activity in the capital in the first three months of the year as employers continued to add jobs and ramp up new orders, Dublin City Council has said.

Based on a survey of 200 businesses conducted by S&P Global, the local authority’s latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) points to an increase in activity levels between January and the end of March after a dip in the fourth quarter of last year.

The headline index rose to 53.1, up from 51.9 in the final months of 2023. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in business levels, so the figure for the first quarter suggests activity is growing at a faster pace than it was at the end of last year.

Growth was led by the dominant services sector, according to the PMI, while the construction sector returned to growth after dipping below the 50 mark in the final quarter of 2023, ending three consecutive quarters of growth. However, manufacturing activity slipped in the first three months of the new year after a strong fourth quarter of 2023 reading.


Meanwhile, Dublin businesses continued to ramp up hiring in response to rising activity levels, Dublin City Council said. Employment expanded at a slightly faster rate quarter on quarter while new orders also increased over the period after a dip in the fourth quarter of last year.

“The Dublin private sector started 2024 on the front foot as renewed growth of new orders supported faster rises in output and employment,” said Andrew Harker, director at S&P global market intelligence.

“The dominant service sector was the main source of expansion, with increases hopefully set to become more broad based as the year progresses. The positive performance in Dublin was consistent with the picture for the rest of Ireland which also began the year in expansion mode, although the capital saw faster growth rates across the three indicators covered.”

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times