Output rose in 2011 but debt crisis hit pace of growth
INDUSTRIAL output was up last year but the pace of growth slowed sharply, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Industrial output was up 1.6pc in 2011. It was a significant slowdown compared to the stunning rise in output of 8.3pc recorded in 2010.
Growth was particularly hard hit last autumn, as the European debt crisis sapped demand for exports. That was the main reason that industrial output ended the year weaker.
The same pattern was repeated across much of the eurozone. However, there is some cause for optimism.
The CSO figures show that the volume of industrial production did see a recovery in December, up 3.5pc compared to November, but economists say month-on-month data can be deceptive.
Economists say interpreting the CSO data can be tricky because monthly figures are distorted by the activities of some of the big pharmaceutical companies, whose output tends to be volatile. It means that looking at three-month averages gives a truer sense of what's really going on.
There, the latest numbers showed a decline of 1.4pc from October to the end of December, compared to the previous three months.