INDUSTRIAL production fell in May, with the hi-tech and so-called 'traditional' sectors both slowing down.
Production for manufacturing industries was 2.3pc lower than it had been in April, with the chemical and hi-tech sectors slipping by 2.5pc. The traditional sector fell back by 4.2pc.
Alan McQuaid of Merrion Stockbrokers said the latest industrial-production numbers painted a "dark picture" of the manufacturing sector.
He said: "Whatever about the short term, we believe that when the world economy regains momentum, Ireland is better placed than most to take advantage of that.
"However, on the basis of the figures for the first five months of the year, it now looks as though manufacturing output for 2013 as a whole will post a low single-digit decline for the second year running."
On an annual basis, industrial production decreased by 8pc, compared with May of last year.
German factory orders unexpectedly declined for a second month in a sign that the euro area's struggle to emerge from its longest-ever recession is disrupting the recovery in Europe's largest economy.
Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, dropped 1.3pc from April, when they fell a revised 2.2pc.
Carsten Brzeski, senior economist at ING in Brussels, said: "German industry still has difficulties returning to full strength.
"Reasonably filled order books should ensure a gradual pick-up in production. However, the medium-term outlook is not yet rosy."
Germany's domestic orders declined 2pc in May from the previous month. Overseas demand shrank 0.7pc, with orders from the euro area slumping by 3.9pc. (Additional reporting, Bloomberg)