Ireland Services Growth At 19-Month Low


Ireland’s services activity expanded at the weakest pace in the current 19-month sequence of growth, as inflationary pressures on demand undermined the outlook, survey data from S&P Global showed on Wednesday.

The AIB Ireland services Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 54.1 in September from 54.7 in August. However, a reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

New orders increased at the slowest pace since March 2021. Foreign demand was also negatively affected by declines in the business services and transport, tourism & leisure sectors.

Service providers raised their workforce numbers further as they sought to accommodate rising workloads. But, the rate of job creation eased to an eight-month low.

On the price front, input price inflation remained among the highest on record in September, linked to higher costs for energy and wages. Similarly, output price inflation was the sixth highest since the survey began in 2000.

In September, the forecast for the service sector’s activity over the next 12 months remained favorable, although confidence levels were at their lowest in over two years.

The composite output index, covering manufacturing and services, rose to 52.2 in September from 51.0 in the previous month.

The slight improvement in the private sector was reflected by a much slower fall in manufacturing production, which was partly offset by a weaker increase in services business activity.

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