dpa/GNA – Ireland’s service sector activity increased slightly in December, after a slump in the previous month, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The AIB Ireland services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.1 in December from 45.4 in November. Any score below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

Outstanding business rose for the second straight month in December, while new business declined due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The 12-month outlook strengthened to its highest level since February, as firms expected vaccine development to allow for a return to normal business conditions.

Employment expanded in December. On the price front, input prices rose for the sixth straight month in December and the rate of inflation eased to the lowest in five months.

Prices charged by the service providers increased for the third time in four months.

Private sector output, covering manufacturing and services, accelerated in December. The composite output index surged to 53.4 in December from 47.7 in November.

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