Business

Services sector expands faster 
in third quarter

Manufacturing has been the star performer this year, but a robust third quarter showed that the services sector is back in the game.

Revenue for firms in the industry rose at a faster pace in the three months to Sept 30 than the same period last year - a further sign that the recovery is extending across the wider economy.

Turnover was up 6.3 per cent in the quarter and up from year-on-year growth of 5 per cent in the second quarter, according to data from the Department of Statistics yesterday.

The numbers showed that all services industries reported growth, with information and communications showing the biggest improvement at an 13.6 per cent jump.

The growth trend seems to be holding up on a quarter-by-quarter basis as well.

Revenue went up 0.9 per cent from the second quarter to the third on a non-seasonally adjusted basis - a tick slower than the second quarter's 1 per cent growth over the previous three months.

Turnover in the education services industry registered the highest growth at 11.2 per cent, followed by health and social services at 3 per cent.

But lower revenues were recorded by the transport and storage services with the biggest decline of 1.7 per cent compared with the second quarter.

A string of positive economic data last week has led economists to believe that growth is becoming more broad-based as the services sector, which makes up two-thirds of the economy, sees a pick-up.

Manufacturing has been the force behind most of the growth this year, but services is likely to gain momentum next year due to an improved global economy and brightening business conditions, said economists.

The Business Receipts Index for the services industries excludes wholesale and retail trade, and accommodation and food services.

BUSINESS & FINANCE