Activity up in services sector

The services sector hasexperienced a slight increase in economic activity, according to the CSO’s new short-term indicator for the industrial, construction and retail sectors.

The CSO found that there was an increase in the monthly services index by 0.6% between February and March and an annual increase of 4.0% in the services sector.

The biggest increase came in the transportation and storage sector, which saw a rise of almost 10% from February to March.

In the same period, accommodation and food service activities grew by 2.7%.

Wholesale and retail trade as well as business services recorded marginal growth of 0.2% and 0.3%.

However, two sectors which demonstrated month-on-month declines were the information and communication sector, down 1.4%, and other services, which fell by 7.1%.

Since the start of the year the information and communication sector has been the best performer, recording growth of 13.6%.

The only other sector to approach these figures is the transportation and storage business, which has grown by 11.6%.

The wholesale and retail trade has increased by 4.7% since the start of the year.

There has been a contraction in the demand for business services, which were down by 4.9%, and other services which have fallen by 7.4%.

Despite the implementation of a lower Vat rate for accommodation and food service activities, there was still a contraction of 3.0% from the start of the year.

Provisional data for the first quarter shows that the services sector as a whole increased by 1.8% when compared with the last quarter of 2011 and by 3.8% compared to the first three months of 2011.


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