Ireland: Services PMI jumps to six-month high in December
Business activity in the Irish service sector accelerated markedly in December, as reflected by the AIB service Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rising to 55.9 from 53.7 in November. The index, thus, moved further above the critical 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction in business activity, signaling growth in the services sector and marking the best reading since June 2019.
December’s reading reflected a continued pick-up in business activity, while new business rose at the fastest clip in six months amid a quicker expansion in new export orders. Although firms hired more workers to address increasing workloads, the pace of job creation slowed to a three-month low. That said, it remained solid overall. On the price front, input cost inflation rose further in December; albeit at a slightly slower pace compared to November. Meanwhile, output charge inflation was little-changed. Lastly, business sentiment strengthened to a 17-month high as service providers turned more optimistic on their one-year outlook amid reduced Brexit uncertainty.