Manufacturing output slows to seven month low - report
Manufacturing output increased at the slowest pace in seven months in October, according to the latest Manufacturing Purchases Managers Index (PMI) from ISH Markit.
The PMI – an indicator designed to provide a single-figure measure of the health of the manufacturing industry – posted 54.9 in October, down from 56.3 in September.
While the reading signalled a solid improvement in the health of the sector, it was at the weakest seen for seven months. Any reading over 50 is deemed growth.
Many firms surveyed attributed the rise in output last month to increased client demand and greater sales.
While new orders continued to rise during October, the rate of expansion slowed for the second month in a row.
Volumes of new work from abroad also increased, albeit at the softest rate for three months.
Despite concerns around Brexit, some respondents commented on increased demand from the UK.
Cost burdens increased during October, the report found, fuelled by rising raw material prices, particularly for steel and timber. Responding to this, Irish manufacturers increased their selling prices, with the rate of charge inflation hitting a five month high.
Overall, and despite falling to an 11-month low, business optimism regarding output over the next 12 months was sustained in October. Panellists were especially hopeful of increased export orders, particularly in Asia and the United States.