Ireland’s service sector expanded at the strongest rate since March 2016, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.
The AIB Ireland services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 62.1 in May from 57.7 in April. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.
New business increased at the sharpest rate since February 2017 and new export business grew at a softer pace since April.
The 12-month outlook increased in May, as firms expect a boost to business as lockdown restrictions eased and the Covid-19 pandemic lessened. The overall sentiment was the strongest since September 2017.
Backlogs of work increased in May, while employment rose for the third straight month.
Cost inflationary pressures accelerated in May. Input price inflation rose to the highest since July 2008 and service providers cost increased at the fastest rate since 2019.
Private sector output, covering manufacturing and services, expanded at the fastest rate since 2000. The composite output index rose to 63.5 in May from 58.1 in the previous month.
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