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Financial News: Ireland Services Sector Grows Strongly

Ireland Services Sector Grows Strongly

04/07/2021 - 03:12:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Ireland's service sector expanded significantly in March, amid the fastest growth in activity and new business in over a year, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The AIB Ireland services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 54.6 in March from 41.2 in February.

Any score above 50 indicates expansion in the sector. The index signaled growth for the first time since December last year and the latest 13.4 points increase was the second fastest in the survey history.

New business increased for the second time in thirteen months in March and export demand rose for the first time since February last year.

The volume of outstanding business grew in March. The number of workforce expanded for the second time in thirteen months.

Input prices increased sharply at the fastest pace in thirteen months in March, but the rate of inflation was weaker than recent years.

Private sector output, covering manufacturing and services, expanded for the first time in 2021. The composite output index rose to 54.5 in March from 42.7 in the previous month and signaled the strongest output growth since July 2020.

"Firms are at their most optimistic since June 2018 on the 12-month outlook for business," AIB Chief Economist Oliver Mangan said.

Firms expect that the roll-out of vaccines will help lift the lockdown restrictions gradually, leading to a strong rebound in activity, Mangan said.

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