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Services sector grows in July for first time since lockdown

Activity in the services sector grew in July for the first time since the economy entered lockdown restrictions earlier this year, according to data from AIB.

The July purchasing managers index (PMI) witnessed a modest expansion but the volumes of income new sales fell further, while employment continued to decline.

The business activity index rose to 51.9 in July from 39.7 the previous month. Any reading above 50 indicates a sector in expansion.

“While this is a very welcome development it is still a relatively low reading for the Irish services PMI – the index stood at 59.9 as recently as February, indicating that the sector is still far from being back to normal,” said AIB chief economist Oliver Mangan.

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