DUBLIN (Reuters) - Growth in Irish services activity slowed slightly from a five-month high in July, a survey showed on Friday, but nevertheless capped six straight years of expansion in the European Union’s fastest-growing economy.
The Investec Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 57.4 from 59.5 in June, the lowest level since a weather-hit March. The index has remained above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction since August 2012.
New orders and new export orders held relatively steady despite overall growth being a touch slower with only the sub-index measuring business expectations showing any kind of marked reversal, falling to 71.4 from 72.9 a month earlier.
A survey on Wednesday showed that Irish factory activity also expanded at a very slightly slower pace in July. [nL9N13C02M]
“Taken together, this week’s PMI releases suggest that while the rate of growth in activity across much of Ireland’s private sector has slightly softened from the multi-month highs recorded in June, it remains substantial,” said Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O’Sullivan.
“While the headline PMI has moderated to a four-month low, it is still consistent with a sharp rate of expansion in activity.”
Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Hugh Lawson