Irish services sector activity expanded rapidly again in November, suggesting that the economy will finish the year with solid growth.
The Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index of activity in the services sector, which covers businesses from banks to hotels, inched up to 61.6 from 61.5 in October and was just short of June’s seven-year high.
The index has been above 60 for the past nine months and has not fallen below the 50-point line denoting growth since July 2012. The corresponding manufacturing survey marked a year-and-a-half of successive growth on Monday.
“Taken together with Monday’s manufacturing PMI Ireland report, this release is a reminder of the broad improvement in conditions across much of the Irish economy at this time,” Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O’Sullivan said.
“All four of the segments surveyed – business services, financial services, telecommunications, media and technology and travel and leisure – simultaneously recorded growth in business activity for a tenth successive month in November.”
The sub-index measuring new export business fell to a five-month low of 60.0 from 60.6 a month earlier, which O’Sullivan said was likely linked to deteriorating conditions in the euro zone.
But the employment index showed firms hired staff at the fastest rate in over eight years, and panelists attributed the latest increase in input prices to higher salary payments, with companies paying more to keep staff on.
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