DUBLIN (dpa-AFX) - Ireland's service sector growth eased sharply in December, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.
The AIB Ireland services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 55.4 in December from 59.3 in November. This was the weakest since March.
Any reading above 50.0 indicates expansion in the sector. Activity rose for the tenth straight month.
New business declined as consumer demand faltered with the new wave of Covid-19 infections. New export growth eased to the lowest in seven months.
However, firms remained strongly optimistic about growth in 2022.
Outstanding work rose for the tenth month in a row in December and workforce increased.
The rate of inflation eased, albeit among the sharpest on record and charges increased at the softest rate in three months.
The composite output index, covering manufacturing and services, decreased to 56.5 in December from 59.3 in the previous month.
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