The most severe phase of the hit to service businesses from Covid-19 has passed, according to data from AIB, which shows a sector that is beginning to stabilise after the chaos resulting from the pandemic.

The bank’s purchasing managers index (PMI) for June shows that although the sector was still contracting, that contraction was at the slowest rate since the downturn began in March.

The index rose to 39.7 in June from 23.4 in May and from April’s record low of 13.9. Although anything below 50 indicates a sector in contraction, the upward move indicates that business is returning to some normality, albeit at a slow rate.

“With large parts of the economy still in lockdown as a result of the measures taken to contain the spread of coronavirus, the AIB Irish services PMI staged only a partial recovery in June,” said the bank’s chief economist, Oliver Mangan.



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