Industrial production drops in May, data shows
Industrial production fell in May compared with the same period last year, data shows.
Data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that production for manufacturing industries was 7.8pc lower in May compared with April, but also 4.4pc down on May of last year.
This was the first annual decline of the year so far.
Alan McQuaid of Merrion Stockbrokers struck an upbeat tone, however, and said a strong performance for the sector is expected this year as a whole.
"After a sluggish start to the year, we expect the global economy to pick up speed in the coming months and demand for Irish goods in general should increase as a result, with currency developments, particularly in relation to the dollar and pound, a huge plus," Mr McQuaid said.
"Ireland is better placed than most to take advantage of an upturn in the world economy, with the manufacturing PMI in expansionary territory for more than two years running up to June."
The CSO data showed that the so-called Modern sector, which is made up of a number of high technology and chemical companies, showed a monthly decrease in production for May of 12.2pc, and was down 13.2pc compared with the same period last year.
There was a monthly increase of 0.6pc in the more employment intensive "traditional" sector. It was up 10.6pc on the year.
"Following last year's impressive increase of just over 24pc, a further strong showing in Irish manufacturing output is forecast for this year," Mr McQuaid added.
"We expect another robust double-digit increase, which at this stage now looks like being in the 15-20pc range."
Separate data last week showed that manufacturing growth in Ireland eased to its slowest last month in more than a year and a half.
The softness appears to be coming from domestic clients, as export orders continued to rise strongly, slowing just fractionally over the previous month, according to the latest Purchasing Managers' Index for the sector.
New orders have now risen throughout the past two years.