PMI reflects boost in export orders
BETTER export markets boosted the manufacturing sector in October, driven by demand for Irish goods from the UK in particular.
October's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) showed a boost to the manufacturing sector from new orders from abroad, but the data also showed that the recovery remains jobless.
The PMI data is published by NCB Stockbrokers and based on an extensive survey of 285 industrial managers. Research firm Markit collects the same data in the UK.
In Ireland, the overall PMI index rose to 50.9 in October, up from 48.4. The index measures activity on a scale either side of 50. Decreases in activity are recorded from 50 down and increases from 50 up.
In the UK, the equivalent figure was 54.9 for October. In fact, manufacturing production in the UK accelerated for the first time in seven months last month. A number of those surveyed said increased demand from the UK helped lift the Irish figures.
NCB said conditions for manufacturers have now improved in seven of the past eight months in Ireland.
The latest figures show that exporters are in the best shape of anyone in the economy.
New orders across the manufacturing sector were flat, but companies focused on exports were overwhelmingly positive.
Last month, a similar survey of the more employment-intensive services sector was more downbeat. It showed a decline in new business activity.
With more of the manufacturing sector oriented to exports, it is better placed to pick up on any international economic recovery.
Even so, the environment for manufacturing remains tough.