Ireland: Irish Services PMI improves in April
May 4, 2017
The Investec Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased from April’s 59.1 to 61.1 in April. The result, which marks a 10-month high, reflected a softer expansion in activity, new orders and employment. With April’s result, the index remains comfortably above the 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the services sector, where it has been for over four-and-a-half years.
Increased client demand and new business, buttressed by improving client sentiment, were behind the monthly increase. New business expanded at a sharper rate in the surveyed month, a trend also observed in new export orders though the rate of expansion was slower. An optimistic outlook on the economy coupled with increased volume in new orders compelled service providers to increase staffing levels, which has increased uninterruptedly since September 2012. Regarding price developments, input prices spiked on the back of higher employment, fuel and energy costs. Consequently, service providers passed on higher input costs to consumers.
The survey report went on to discuss the result of the forward-looking business activity outlook and commented that, “Irish services companies remain strongly optimistic, with more than 10 times as many firms expecting to record growth in activity over the coming 12 months as opposed to those who anticipate a decline.”