Thursday 21 September 2017

Improved market conditions leads to three month high in manufacturing growth

Photo: PA
Photo: PA
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Irish manufacturing growth has expanded to a three month high in March, the latest Investec Manufacturing PMI index has shown.

Export orders have also grown at the fastest rate since July 2015.

Headline PMI has risen to 55.0, a three month high, from 53.6 in March. This increase was “driven by improved market conditions both at home and abroad”, Philip O'Sullivan, economist with Investec, said.

Stronger growth of production helped firms to reduce backlogs of work for the first time in seven months, despite marked rises in new orders, while stocks of finished goods decreased as firms delivered products quickly in response to new orders.

On the margin side, while the rate of increase in input prices slowed for a second successive month, it remains sharp, with panellists attributing the latest increase to higher commodity prices and the relative weakness of the euro against the US dollar.

Read more: Optimism rises as Irish firms shrug off Brexit fears, for now

Business sentiment dipped for the second month running and was the lowest since August 2016. That said, strong confidence continued to be recorded amid expectations of further growth in new export orders.

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