Manufacturing output rises again
RISING ORDERS and output contributed to an eighth straight month of improved performance in the State’s manufacturing sector in October.
The NCB Purchasing Managers’ Index rose from 51.8 to 52.1 during the month. Readings above the 50 mark separate expansion from contraction.
“A solid expansion of manufacturing output was recorded in October,” NCB said. “Production rose for the sixth successive month, and the latest increase was the fastest since June . . . The fastest increase in production was seen at consumer goods firms.”
The measure for exports bounced back to expansion in October with a reading of 51.8, after contracting a month earlier.
Growth in the UK market was noted as a primary driver of export growth.
The index has recorded eight successive monthly rises in employment in the manufacturing sector, but the level of growth (51.3) was significantly lower than in September (55.6). NCB said employment growth indicated that firms were reacting to increasing workloads and that some respondents were anticipating a further increase to new orders in the coming months.
The rate of cost inflation remained substantial in October, the index says, with higher energy and raw material costs the main source of pressure. Respondents passed some of the increased costs on to their clients. “However, strong competition meant that the rate of inflation was only slight, and slower than seen in the previous month,” NCB said.