Irish Services PMI was published by Markit/Investec today.
March Services PMI stood at 60.9, down from 61.4 in February, marking the third consecutive month of m/m declines from the local high of 62.6 in December 2014. Current reading is the lowest in 12 consecutive months.
Still at 60.9, the index is signaling robust growth in the sector. More importantly, 3mo average is at 61.6 for Q1 2015, which is marginally weaker than 61.9 average for Q4 2014 and well above Q1 2013 reading of 54.2 and Q1 2014 reading of 59.9.
March marks the first time since January when both Manufacturing and Services PMIs declined. Last time this happened before January 2015 was in May 2014, so twin decline is a rather rare event. This said, both indices remained well above their post-crisis averages in March, although over the last 12 months, Manufacturing averaged 56.2 (which means March reading out-performed the average at 56.8) against Services 12 mo average of 61.9 (which means that March reading under-performed the average at 60.9).
Broadly-speaking, we are seeing reduction in the rate of growth in both Manufacturing and Services, albeit from very high levels.
More detailed quarterly analysis to follow, so stay tuned.