Service industry positive about an upturn

COMPANIES within Ireland’s service industries are optimistic about an upturn in their fortunes over the next 12 months, despite latest monthly data showing the ongoing rate of decline in the sector actually sped up during November.

The latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the services sector – published by NCB Stockbrokers – shows the weakness of the overall economy led to an increased contraction in new business activity amongst firms, in November – such activity now having fallen every month since February of last year. The actual index, for last month, dropped from 47.4 to 46.8. Any reading below the neutral 50 point mark measures decline.

According to Brian Devine, economist at NCB: “Activity in the services sector continued to contract in November, with the index falling back on the month. New business orders fell back significantly, despite increased demand from abroad... Fragile domestic demand has been dealt a further blow by the flooding that has besieged certain areas of the country.”

Like the PMI for the manufacturing sector, earlier this week, last month saw decreases in both input and output charges amongst services firms. November also prompted an increase in the level of job cuts amongst relevant firms.

This, however, was chiefly down to companies choosing not to replace staff.

All the same, employment levels in the services sector have fallen in each month since March of last year and November’s survey featured around 28% of respondents saying they had lowered their staff levels last month.

On a brighter note, however, November’s survey also found that most respondents are optimistic of higher business activity levels by this time next year.


Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students mustn’t be forced to go through the motions with state exams, and we need creative thinking to find alternatives fast, writes mother and educator Ellie O’Byrne.Policy fail? Insistence that state exams go ahead in June is glib and ignorant

Yes, we all need to stay at home but that doesn't mean your children have to be bored, says Michelle McGlynnWorld of wonder: What to do with the children outdoors

Over the next three weeks, I am going to outline how you can support yourself and your family over this period of lockdown, writes Richard Hogan.Learning Points: Keeping children on a healthy and happy regime

As we are settling into our new routines of self isolation, staying at home and home schooling it feels that a whole new set of pressures is coming down the tracks.Mum's The Word: Pressure to be productive in a world of online classes

More From The Irish Examiner