Growth in service sector picks up in November
The rate of growth in the service sector picked up in November, new figures show.
The latest AIB Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) shows the rates of expansion in total activity and new business both accelerated in the month for the first time since April.
The index reached 54.2 last month, up from 52.6 in October and back close to its level of 54.5 in September.
Readings above 50 indicate overall growth in activity.
In November, all four sub-sectors registered higher activity.
Growth was again fastest in technology, media and telecoms, although transport, tourism and leisure recorded the biggest improvement since October with the first expansion since June.
Growth slowed in financial services and was only modest in business services.
“Of particular note was the acceleration in growth in new business for the first time since April and renewed rise in new export business after it had declined in October,” said Oliver Mangan, AIB Chief Economist.
“This points to an improvement in demand conditions.
“Notably, there was a marked rebound in activity in the transport, tourism and leisure sector, following a four-month downturn, helped by a strong increase in new business, including from overseas,” he added.
The data shows that employment rose at a solid pace in a tight labour market and wages remained a key source of rising costs.
But inflationary pressures did ease further in November.
“Input prices continued to experience upward pressure, especially from higher wages,” said Mr Mangan.
“The rate of increase, though, slowed to the lowest level since April 2021 and is now broadly in line with the long-run average.
“Higher operating costs are still being passed on to customers in higher selling prices, though again, the rate of increase fell to a two-and-a-half-year low,” he added.
The Irish index for November was above other readings around the world, with the flash services PMI in the UK at 50.5, the euro zone at 48.2, and the US at 50.8.