(Reuters) – The Irish services sector grew at the slowest rate in more than seven years in October as the long expansion in new orders ground down to a near standstill, a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the fast-growing economy is losing steam.
The AIBIHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for services slipped to 50.6 in October from 53.1 in September, holding just above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
Ireland’s economy has largely weathered the disruption caused by Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union, but the protracted uncertainty over Brexit has begun to take its toll.
New orders also expanded at the weakest rate in more than seven years, with the related subindex slipping to 50.9 in October from 52.2 the month before.
“The slowdown evident in manufacturing this year would now appear to have spread to the services sector,” said Oliver Mangan, chief economist at AIB.
“The data point to an appreciable deceleration in the pace of activity in the Irish economy in recent months as it is buffeted by uncertainty over Brexit and weakening global growth.”
(Writing by Hugh Lawson; Edited by Catherine Evans)