Irish service industry enjoys its fastest growth in almost a decade

This follows positive manufacturing data released on Monday

Irish service industry enjoys its fastest growth in almost a decade

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Ireland's services sector recorded its strongest growth since 2006 last month - it has now enjoyed three and a half years of continuous growth.

The Investec purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 64 in January, up from 61.8 in December - any figure over 50 indicates growth.

Ireland's services businesses (which includes banks) have not enjoyed as strong a month since June 2006.

The survey monitors financial services, technology, media, business services, leisure, telecoms and transport - all sectors simultaneously recorded growth for the 32nd month in a row.

This has led to an increase in the number of firms taking on new employees, this measure has been in positive territory for 41 months.

Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan commented on the results:

"The sector has made a very impressive start to 2016. More than 20 times as many businesses expect to see growth in activity over the next year against those who anticipate a decline.

"Taken together with Monday's manufacturing PMI report, this week's surveys suggest that the strong momentum evident across the Irish economy in 2015 has continued into the New Year."

On Monday it was revealed that Irish manufacturing hit a 6-year high in January.