The Irish services sector, which includes HR software and payroll outsourcing firms, is reporting phenomenal growth, with export orders at their highest level in six years.
The service sector represents banking, retail, call centres, recreation, health, estate agents, and many other ‘soft’ areas of the economy in which employees offer their time and knowledge to produce a service, rather than an end product. Payroll service providers are evidently included, but so are the IT professionals producing time and attendance software for their clients. Information technology is yet another cog in the service wagon wheel – and it is a wheel which is set to keep the Irish economy rolling for a long time to come.
The latest NCB Services Purchasing Managers Index revealed a sharp rise in growth in December, with a PMI of 55.8. This is no flash in the pan result as the industry has been expanding steadily for the past five months – a sharp contrast to the UK figure of 48.9, which represents a contraction and is its worst result since 2009.
Many fear that Britain has encountered another recession, but in the Republic of Ireland, the outlook is blooming, with export orders leaping to a six-year high in December. Experts are expecting the trend to continue.
With unemployment figures also falling, it looks as though time and attendance software and payroll outsourcing will play a major role in the success of businesses in the coming year.