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Ireland Services Sector Growth At 3-Month Low

Ireland's services sector expanded at the slowest pace in three months in April, as growth in new business and employment weakened, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Friday.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 54.7 in April from 55.3 in March.

Any reading above 50 indicates an expansion in the sector.

New order growth was the slowest in two-and-a-half years during April.

New business from abroad increased in April, at a pace which was slightly stronger than March's 28-month low.

Backlogs of work increased at a weaker pace as new order growth softened. The rate of job creation eased to a thirteen-month low in April.

The rate of input price inflation was sharpest, but declined to the slowest in over a year.

In contrast, output charge inflation eased to the weakest in fifty-two months.

Business confidence improved during April, as service providers remained optimistic that business activity will increase over the coming 12 months, the survey reported.

The Composite PMI fell to 53.4 in April from 54.1 in March and signaling the softest rise in business activity in three months.

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