The Irish services sector grew at its slowest pace in more than three years in September, a new survey shows, as some firms reported reduced interest from customers following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
The Investec and Markit Economics purchasing managers' index (PMI), which tracks changes in businesses from banks to hotels, fell to 56.2 last month from 59.7 in August and 62.4 in September last year. This was the lowest reading since June 2013 although it remained well above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction.
"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.
"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 Q4," O'Sullivan said.
The new business index fell to 54.2 from 58.1 in August, the lowest level since May 2013.