Irish services slow - but avoid Bexit shock

Latest service industry PMI shows exports continued to grow in July

Irish services slow - but avoid Bexit shock

PA, Niall Carson

Growth in Ireland's service industry slowed in July, according to the Investec Services PMI.

It fell from 61.2 in June to 59.5 last month. Any figure above 50 indicates expansion.

July showed the weakest level of employment growth since 2013, and the lowest overall growth since 2014.

The index covers professional and financial services, telecoms, and tourism - but does not include retail activity.

While the impact of the Brexit vote to leave the UK will be keenly watched - this data shows that New Export Business expanded at a faster rate due to demand from the rest of Europe and Asia.

Firms continued to take on new staff although the rate of new workers being hired was at the lowest rate since May 2013.

Average input costs rose during the month rose, but some firms said that they benefited from drops in sterling values.

Chief Economist with Investec Philip O’Sullivan commented on the numbers: "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."

Although he added that optimism in business services, financial services and travel and leisure have all taken a Brexit-hit.