Struggling sterling causing problems for Irish services exporters

Some good news for the sector overall, however...

New export orders in the Irish services sector fell to a five-year low in November, according to Investec's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).

Dipping to 49.8, it placed below the 50 mark that separates contraction from growth for only the second time since 2009.

Investec attributed the contraction the post-Brexit pressure of a weaker sterling. Business services, travel and leisure are three areas particularly feeling the pinch.

The outlook was more positive looking at the bigger picture. Though the services sector remains close to three-year lows, activity did increase to 56 from 54.6 in October.

This marked a slight recovery, after the index had fallen from a decade-high of 64 in January in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the EU.

The export problems was somewhat balanced by a strong domestic performance that saw the new business index hit a three-month high.

Investec's chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said:

"All in all, while the services sector is clearly not out of the woods yet, it is encouraging to see that the pace of growth for this sector quickened in November.

"Our suspicion is that the worst of the pressures faced by the more external-facing parts of the Irish economy in the immediate aftermath of Brexit has passed."