Ireland’s service sector contracted in April indicating the fastest drop in services output in the 20-year survey history, as the economy shuts down to combat coronavirus, survey data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.
The services Purchasing Managers’ Index fell by 18.6 points to 13.9 in April. A score below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.
Activity levels were severely impacted by a record decline in new business in April. Export business also dropped at a record pace.
Consequently, Irish service sector employment fell at the fastest rate in the 20-year survey history in April.
The future activity sank to a new low since the series began in May 2000 as nearly half of the survey respondents reported that they expected a decline from current levels.
The only survey indicators to avoid record lows in April were the two price indices.
Nonetheless, average input prices still fell at the sharpest rate since March 2010. Meanwhile, companies cut their own fees the most in seven years in an attempt to bring in revenues amid the lockdown.
The survey showed that the Composite Output Index plunged 20 points to 17.3 in April, by far the lowest reading since the series was first compiled in May 2000.