Ireland: Services PMI inches down in November
December 5, 2018
The Investec service Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 57.1 in November, marginally down from 57.2 in October, marking the weakest pace of expansion since March. Thus, the index remained above the critical 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the sector, where it has been for over five years, denoting a largely stable pace of growth in activity from the previous month.
November’s print reflected a slowdown in the growth of output and new orders. Activity accelerated in all four sectors covered, with firms in the transport and leisure sector recording the fastest expansion. Business services firms saw the biggest increase in export orders of all the reported sectors. However, the upturn in new orders was the weakest in two years. Firms increased their payroll numbers in response, but the rate of job creation eased to a six-month low. The downturn in new business, coupled with a fall in employment growth, led to an increase in backlogs of work. On the price front, despite a decline in input prices, service providers raised their output prices. Business sentiment deteriorated to the lowest level in over five years over growing fears of a potential slowdown weighing on confidence.