Irish services PMI pushed down by Brexit

Caitlin Morrison
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The Bank of Ireland in College Green, Du
Irish businesses have reported a decline in growth since the UK's EU referendum (Source: Getty)

Ireland's services sector grew at its slowest pace in over three years in September as companies reported less customer interest as a result of the UK's Brexit vote.

Ireland is widely considered to be the most at risk from Britain's decision to leave the EU given its close trade ties.

The Investec Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of activity in services, which covers businesses from banks to hotels, fell to 56.2 from 59.7 in August, the lowest since June 2013 when Dublin was still working its way through an international bailout. It's also a marked decline from a 10-year high of 64.0 reported in January.

"While some panellists had been able to secure new contracts in September, others mentioned reduced interest from customers, in some cases linked to the UK's decision to leave the EU," Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said.

O'Sullivan said firms continued to struggle to keep up with client demand, with backlogs of work increasing for the 40th successive month and headcounts rising, albeit at a slower pace.

"With further uncertainty around Brexit and the US presidential election expected between now and the year end, we are growing increasingly cautious about the prospects for the final quarter of 2016," O'Sullivan said.

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