Services sector hits seven year high in April

THE services sector in April grew at the fastest rate in seven years with employers adding jobs as the outlook improved with our main trading partners.

The employment sub-index rose to 60 from 58.5, its highest level since 2006.

“Today’s report and last week’s manufacturing PMI release show strong momentum across much of the private sector in Ireland,” said Investec Ireland’s chief economist Philip O’Sullivan.

The index rose to 61.9 in April from 60.7 in March with readings above 50 pointing to growth.

“With an improving outlook both at home and across the country’s main trading partners, we expect that this momentum will be sustained over the remainder of this year at least,” he added.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said yesterday that Ireland could beat its target to bring the budget deficit down to 4.8pc of gross domestic product this year.