Wednesday 21 February 2018

Irish manufacturing growth rate hits 15 year high

PMI showing signs of recovery
PMI showing signs of recovery
Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

Manufacturing expanded at the fastest rate since in 15 years last month showing further signs of economic recovery.

The latest purchasing managers' index (PMI), which measures the health of the manufacturing industry, soared to 57.3 in August from 55.4 in July.

The 15th straight month of growth surged as output and new orders both rose.

Anything over 50 shows activity is growing, under 50 means the sector is contracting.

Philip O’Sullivan, chief economist with Investec Ireland, said the figure signified the fastest rate of expansion in activity since December 1999.

“New product lines and improving demand from both export and domestic markets helped the New Orders component rise to its highest level in almost 15 years,” he said.

“In terms of overseas demand, panellists cited the UK (in particular) and Asian markets as sources of new work during the month.”

Mr O’Sullivan said while output and new orders rose sharply, the rate of job creation also improved to its fastest pace in three months as firms responded to increasing demand. Elsewhere, there was a marginal decline in pricing.

“All in all, this is a strong outcome, particularly when framed against the backdrop of weakening signs from some Eurozone trading partners of late, although the prognosis for Ireland’s other key export markets (the US and UK) remains encouraging,” he added.

“With manufacturing firms in Ireland stepping up their purchasing and hiring activity, it is clear that they are optimistic of a strong finish to the year and, while noting that the risks to global growth and (not unrelated) geopolitical tensions have increased in recent months, we expect to see continued progress into 2015.”

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