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Manufacturing growth slows

MOMENTUM in the Irish manufacturing sector eased as 2014 opened, with growth slowing to its weakest in five months.

It comes as manufacturing in the Eurozone expanded last month at its fastest pace since May 2011, buoyed by robust activity in Germany. Greece also expanded for the first time in more than four years.

Business conditions in Ireland continued to improve as output, new orders and employment all increased again, according to the latest Purchasing Managers' Index.

Philip O'Sullivan (above) economist with specialist bank Investec, said the Irish findings represent a solid, if unspectacular, start to the New Year for the sector.

"Broadly speaking, with activity having grown in every month since June 2013, the underlying trend remains intact," he said.