Services sector continues to show strong growth

Sector shakes off slower growth in new export business

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

The services sector continued to grow in August, shaking off a four-month low in July and a dip in the growth of new export business last month.

The Investec Services Purchasing Managers Index Ireland rose to 58.0 last month, with growth in the headline index indicating strong client demand.

Overall new business increased slightly from July, despite a marked slowing in the growth of new export business.

“Although the rate of expansion in New Export Business slowed to a five-month low in August, this index also pointed towards strong levels of growth with some panellists reporting higher order volumes from clients in the UK,” Investec’s Philip O’Sullivan said.

This increase in orders led to a rise in employment, with businesses adding to staff numbers at the fastest pace so far this year. It also added to the backlogs of work recorded during August, although the pace eased somewhat.

Input Costs were sharply higher, as higher staff and fuel costs hit home. Selling prices rose as a result, with the price hike at the greatest pace since March.

Expectations for business activity in 12 months’ time slowed to its lowest level in almost a year, but Investec said it remained consistent with strong optimism amongst service sector firms. Only 6 per cent of businesses expected a decline in activity, with more than 44 per cent expecting to see an increase.

“Considered alongside the Investec Manufacturing PMI Ireland report, this week’s PMI releases suggest that the rate of growth in activity across much of Ireland’s private sector remains strong,” Mr O’Sullivan said.