Irish manufacturing sector grows
Irish manufacturing activity grew for the ninth straight month in November, and at the fastest pace since July, a survey showed today.
The country's services sector grew at the fastest pace in five years in October, and today's manufacturing data add to signs that the economy is proving resilient to the downturn among its main trading partners in Europe.
Ireland was the only euro zone country to show manufacturing growth in October.
The NCB Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 52.4 in November from 52.1 a month earlier.
"The positive trends we have noted for some time have continued into November," said Philip O'Sullivan, chief economist at NCB Stockbrokers.
"New export orders are in positive territory for a second month in a row. This has been supported by new product launches and order wins from the likes of China, the US and the UK," he added.
"One headwind for firms is the mismatch between input prices, which are under upward pressure from energy costs, and output prices, which slipped back into negative territory after improving in the previous two months."
There were also slower rises in output and overall new orders as companies had to use price discounting to support growth of new business, with demand remaining fragile, survey compiler Markit said.
The sub-index measuring new orders fell to 51.9 from 52.7 in October, its lowest reading since August, but it also remained above the 50 line that separates growth from contraction.
The positive figures will be good news for Minister for Finance Michael Noonan before he presents the country's sixth austerity budget since October 2008 on Wednesday. This budget is expected to detail some of the most painful cuts yet.