Services industry grows at fastest monthly rate since 2006

The services industry has grown at its fastest monthly rate in ten years according to Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

The headline PMI figure has grown to a headline reading of 64 for January, up significantly from the December reading of 61.8, which was the sharpest jump since 2006.

The new business index grew to the joint-fastest level in 16 years. The Irish service industry has reported growth in the new business index over the last three and a half years.

Chief economist with Investec Ireland, Philip O’Sullivan, said that the growth in new business has had knock-on effects to other areas of the sector.

“Given the growth in new business cited above, it is unsurprising to see that backlogs of work rose again last month. Indeed, the current pace of expansion is the fastest recorded since February 2007.

“In response to this, services firms continued to add to headcounts in January, extending the sequence of positive readings for the Employment component to 41 months,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

According to the PMI business sentiment picked up slightly at the start of the new year with companies expecting further improvements over the next twelve months.

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