Growth fears rise as Irish export orders fall for a third month
NEW Irish export orders fell for the third month in a row in November, as markets dry up for Irish goods abroad.
Manufacturing across the eurozone is contracting at the fastest rate since 2009. Factory orders have stalled in Europe and much of Asia but the US economy grew last month, according to global surveys of industry.
The latest news has further heightened fears that a promised export-led economic recovery has petered out.
Global demand is being sapped as the European debt crisis rages on without resolution.
Irish industrial output fell in November, according to the latest purchasing managers index (PMI) from NCB Stockbrokers.
The index measures private sector economic activity and dipped below the 50 mark in November -- signifying a fall in output, according to NCB.
The index measures output on a scale either side of 50, a number under 50 means a slowdown while any number above 50 shows growth.
The manufacturing index fell to 48.5 from 50.1 in November.
Of most concern for policy makers is the fall in new export orders. The Government is relying on export led growth to kickstart the economy. In a sign of the increasing pressures in the sector, manufacturers cut the price they charge for goods for the fourth month running.
Manufacturing employment also fell in November, meaning the number of industrial jobs has fallen in five of the last six months.
The latest figures mean Ireland joins the rest of the eurozone in recording a fall in output.
In the wider eurozone, manufacturing contracted at the fastest pace for more than two years in November, according to the final findings of a Europe- wide PMI survey.
"Both production and new orders fell at rates not seen since the height of the credit crunch in 2009," according to Markit which prepares the report.
November was the first month since 2009 when all countries were hit by a fall in output.