Irish Economy 2014: Services PMI (purchasing
managers' index) survey data issued Thursday shows an acceleration in
March but official data in recent months has been more muted.
The biggest services companies in Ireland
such as Google and Microsoft book large chunks of their global revenues here and on Wednesday, Pascal Saint-Amans, the OECD’s head of tax, said
structures such as the “double Irish” that move profits from Ireland to tax
havens will be eliminated. Besides,
Central Statistics Office data on services, which has a panel of
firms of 2,100 and its index showed an annual rise of 3.5% in January 2014.
The seasonally adjusted Business Activity
Index - - which is based on a single question asking respondents to report
on the actual change in business activity at their companies compared to one
month ago - - rose to 60.7 in March from 57.5 in February, to signal an
acceleration in the rate of expansion in business activity. Panellists mainly
attributed growth of activity to improving customer demand. Activity has now
risen in each of the past 20 months.
Sentiment regarding the 12-month outlook for activity
remained strongly positive in March, despite easing from the previous month.
Further improvements in economic conditions are forecast, with stronger client
sentiment and business expansion plans also expected to support growth of
Markit said that as was the case with activity, new
business increased at a sharper pace in March, with the rate of expansion the
fastest in 2014 so far. Strengthening economic conditions both in Ireland and
abroad was reportedly a key factor behind the latest rise. New export orders
continued to increase at a considerable pace, with the UK and US markets the key
sources of new business.
Increasing new orders contributed to a further
accumulation of backlogs of work during March. Moreover, the pace of increase
was faster than seen in February.
Staffing levels increased for the nineteenth successive
month in March. The rate of job creation remained substantial, despite easing
slightly from the previous month.
The rate of input cost inflation slowed in March and was
the weakest since last October. The latest rise was also slower than the series
average. Where input prices did increase, this was linked to higher salary
Competitive pressures led to a decrease in output prices
during March, the second in as many months. That said, the rate of decline was
only slight. Apart from a marginal increase in January, prices charged have
fallen in each month since August 2008.
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