AIB stated that the Services Business Activity Index was up last month – to 58.4, from 55.7 in March.
Transport, Tourism And Leisure
According to AIB, growth within the transport, tourism and leisure industry last month was the weakest of the four monitored sectors.
AIB also stated that there was a second successive monthly expansion in activity levels across the transport, tourism and leisure sector last month, and that the upturn was the joint strongest in close to a year and accompanied by marked new-order growth.
AIB stated that, at the same time, employment levels increased at the sharpest pace in 11 months, and that the level of business sentiment strengthened notably, while input price and output charge inflation rates were substantial.
Statement By AIB Chief Economist
AIB chief economist Oliver Mangan stated, “The AIB Irish Services PMI posted a very strong reading of 58.4 for business activity in April – an 11-month high and up from 55.7 in March. It points to a robust rate of growth in services activity. The Irish figure is comfortably above the flash April Services PMI readings for the Eurozone, UK and US – of 56.6, 54.9 and 53.7, respectively.
“There was a steep increase in new-business volumes in Irish services firms, including new export business, reflecting strong demand conditions, both at home and abroad. This resulted in a further marked rise in backlogs of work, even though employment rose at its fastest pace in six months. Meanwhile, firms remained optimistic about the outlook for the next 12 months, however, the level of confidence fell to its lowest level, [in the] year to date, amid concerns about a possible economic downturn.
“Encouragingly, April saw a strengthening in the pace of activity and good growth in new business, including from abroad, in all of the four subsectors covered in the survey. Most notably, the transport/tourism/leisure sector saw a second successive monthly expansion in activity, following a period of contraction between last August and February.
“With the pace of growth in activity accelerating in April, inflationary pressures remained elevated across the services sector. Businesses continued to report upward pressure on input costs – in particular, wages. The rate of increase in cost inflation did ease to a near two-year low, but remains steep. Increases in operating costs continue to be passed on in higher prices to customers, with the rate of increase in selling prices showing little change in recent months, remaining at a high level.”
© 2023 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.