Irish services sector expands at slower rate in July

Irish services companies registered another sharp expansion of business activity in July, with the rate of growth only slightly weaker than June’s recent high.

The Investec monthly services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which covers businesses from banks to hotels, eased to 61.3 in July from 62.6 in June, but nonetheless signifies a sharp rate of expansion in business activity.

Irish services companies continued to increase employment during July, extending the current sequence of job creation to 23 months.

Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O’Sullivan said services firms reported continued robust growth in new orders during July.

“With improving trends evident both domestically and across Ireland’s key trading partners, we are optimistic of further impressive PMI releases over the coming months at least,” he added.

He said there was a further sharp rise in staffing levels recorded during July, with some respondents saying that they took on extra staff in anticipation of further increases in workloads.

“The three month high in the business outstanding index shows that this expectation is warranted, as backlogs of work have been steadily building up since May of last year”.

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