Irish services industry growth hits slowest rate since 2014

Growth in the Irish services industry fell to its lowest rate since February 2014 as the fallout from Brexit continues to take its toll, new research has shown.

According to the Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a slight weakening was reported for a second successive month in new business.
However, the index points out that last month twice as many panellists reported a rise in new business as those that posted a fall.

The headline reading for the PMI came in a 59.5 for July, down from June’s 61.2, extending the four year run of above-50 readings.
Companies in the sector are continuing to add staff, however employment is growing at its weakest rate since May 2013.

Average input costs rose at a sharp pace in July with some companies reporting positives from the weak sterling.
Investec chief economist Philip O’Sullivan said: “Given the backdrop of Brexit, it is surprising that the ‘Business Activity: Expected Levels in 12 Months’ Time’ (expectations) index recovered some ground in July from June’s 34 month low.

“With that being said, within this index we note that the only monitored segment within the four (TMT, Business Services, Financial Services and Travel & Leisure) that comprise the Services sector to have seen an improvement in sentiment was TMT, with the others all reporting a less optimistic outlook than in the run up to the referendum.”

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