November 5, 2018 / 6:05 AM / 12 days ago

Irish service sector grows at slowest rate in seven months - PMI

FILE PHOTO: A construction worker carries a set of stepladders at 'The Cedars' housing development site in the town of Swords situated on the outskirts of Dublin November 4, 2013. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

DUBLIN, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Growth in the Irish service sector eased in October as inflationary pressures started to bite and new business grew at the slowest rate in seven months, a survey showed on Monday.

The IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slipped to 57.2 from 58.7 in September, which is the lowest level since March when activity was subdued by severe weather.

The sub-index measuring new business was 58.1, down from 59.2 in September.

Although the rate of growth in new business has slowed, Irish service providers continued to experience strong inflows of new work in October, with an increase in orders from the United Kingdom that respondents put down to weakness in the euro.

The survey also showed that the rate of prices charged ticked up, with Irish service providers passing on higher business costs such as insurance to their customers.

“Ireland’s service sector showed signs of a slowdown during October, with both activity and new business rising at the weakest rates in seven months,” said IHS Markit economist Amritpal Virdee.

“Despite this, Irish service companies continued to take on extra staff, with employment growth accelerating to a ten-month high.”

Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by Hugh Lawson; graham.fahy@thomsonreuters.com

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