Growth in the Irish services industry fell to its lowest rate since February 2014 as the fallout from Brexit continues to take its toll, new research has shown.

According to the Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a slight weakening was reported for a second successive month in new business.

However, the index points out that last month twice as many panellists reported a rise in new business as those that posted a fall.

The headline reading for the PMI came in a 59.5 for July, down from June’s 61.2, extending the four year run of above-50 readings.

Companies in the sector are continuing to add staff, however employment is growing at its weakest rate since May 2013.

Average input costs rose at a sharp pace in July with some companies reporting positives from the weak sterling.

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