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Financial News: Ireland Service Sector Recovers In July

Ireland Service Sector Recovers In July

08/06/2020 - 07:41:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Ireland's service sector expanded in July for the first time since the economy went into a lockdown in late February due to the Covid-19 pandemic, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 51.9 in July from 39.7 in June. Any score above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

New business fell for the fifth month in a row in July, albeit at a slowest rate. Output increased due to the reduction in the outstanding business and backlogs of work declined at the slowest rate in the current five-month sequence.

The number of workforce were reduced for the fifth month in a row in July with the rate of job shedding strongest in the survey history.

Cost pressures increased in July and input costs rose for the first time since March, though at a weaker rate. Output prices fell for the fifth straight month.

Sentiment regarding the 12-month outlook remained positive though a number of firms expected business to remain weak during Covid-19 outbreak.

Private sector output, covering manufacturing and services, increased in July. The composite output index rose to 55.9 in July from 44.3 in the previous month.

"Indeed, the July reading for Ireland continued to lag elsewhere in Europe, with the flash Services PMIs for the Eurozone and UK coming in at 55.1 and 56.6, respectively," Oliver Mangan, AIB Chief Economist, said.

"This reflects the much more cautious approach of the Irish authorities to lifting lockdown restrictions compared to elsewhere, where businesses have been reopened for a longer time," the economist added.

At a sector level, the biggest improvement was recorded in Transport/Tourism/ Leisure which had seen the largest declines in recent months, while both business and financial services also saw activity expand, Mangan said.

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