Ireland: Irish Services PMI points to expansion in December
January 5, 2017
The Investec Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased from 56.0 in November to 59.1 in December. The result reflected a faster expansion in activity, new orders and employment. The index remains above the 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the services sector, where it has been for over four years.
New orders continued to rebound in December after October’s 41-month low on the back of growth in new export orders, mainly from the United Kingdom. In turn, this resulted in an increase in backlogs of works and increased staffing in Irish service providers to accommodate increased demand. The outlook for business activity improved markedly in the surveyed months and reached an eleven-month high as respondents are more optimistic concerning business expectations in 2017. Regarding price developments, input price rose on the back of higher staffing costs and energy prices, which ultimately contributed to increasing output costs.
The survey report went on to describe it as a positive that “the Irish manufacturing and services sectors proved sufficiently resilient to continue expanding in spite of all the challenges that the past year produced.”