Services sector expands again on back of new export business

Investec barometer points to strong pick-up in customer demand and new business

Activity in Ireland’s services sector continues to expand with the pace of new export business jumping to its highest level in nearly a year.

Investec’s latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the services industry fell to 60.6 in February, but this was still well above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

The report showed that customer demand remains very healthy, with the rate of growth in new business once again coming in much stronger than the series average, while the pace of expansion in new export business quickened to the fastest since July 2016.

"All in all, this week's Investec PMI surveys indicate that while the rate of growth in activity across much of Ireland's private sector has eased slightly from January, it remains well above the series average," Investec economist Philip O'Sullivan said.