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Irish services sector prices, backlogs hit 21-year highs -PMI

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FILE PHOTO: Cranes are seen along the skyline in the Irish Financial Services Centre in Dublin

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Growth in Ireland's service sector eased slightly in October from the previous month but remained near historic highs as the COVID-19 recovery pushed growth in prices and work backlogs to their highest levels in 21 years, a survey found on Wednesday.

The AIB IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) inched down to 63.4 from 63.7 last month and from a two-decade peak of 66.6 in July. A reading above 50 indicates an overall increase in activity compared to the previous month.

AIB chief economist Oliver Mangan said the sector continued to experience "robust expansion", with readings over 60 registered for six months in a row as the near-complete easing of COVID-19 restrictions releases pent-up demand.

The survey showed the rate of growth in outstanding business reached its highest level in 21 years after eight months of expansion.

Both input price inflation and prices charged were at their highest rates since 2000, the survey showed.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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