Industrial production up 5.3 per cent in February
Rise led by increase in high-technology and chemical sector manufacturing
Manufacturing technicians at Intel’s manufacturing facility in Leixlip. Growth in manufacturing in February was led by a 5.5 per cent rise in ‘modern sector’ production, figures from the Central Statistics Office show.
Industrial production increased sharply in February, with output rising 5.3 per cent following a 0.8 per cent increase in January.
On an annual basis, industrial production was also 5.3 per cent higher in February when compared with the same month last year.
The increase was led by a 5.5 per cent monthly increase in output in the “modern” sector, which includes chemical products, computer equipment and pharmaceuticals.
Production in “traditional sector” industries increased by 3.2 per cent, the figures show.
The seasonally adjusted volume of industrial production in manufacturing industries was 0.9 per cent higher for the three months between December and February than for the preceding quarter.
Davy analyst David McNamara said that while the data was encouraging, another dip in pharmaceutical output linked to the patent cliff in March could not be discounted.
“While many of the blockbuster drugs produced in Ireland such as Lipitor have been off patent since end-2012, the slow lagged effect on measured output and exports could persist into 2014,” he said.
“The key point is that the patent cliff has had little impact on employment in industry (up 2.7 year-on-year) or on the real economy, while the traditional sector is strengthening in line with the euro zone recovery.”
Separate CSO figures on the value of services in the Republic show a monthly decrease of 2.9 per cent in February.
When compared with the same month last year however, the figure is 1.9 per cent higher.
The value of professional, scientific and technical services showed the biggest decrease, falling 9.3 per cent in the month when compared to January.
Wholesale and retail trade services fell 5 per cent, while transportation and storage services were down 3.7 per cent and administrative and support service activities fell 1.5 per cent.
Information and communication services increased 1 per cent in the month, with an 8.4 per cent rise recorded on an annual basis.
Administrative and support services also performed well, rising 6.4 per cent when compared to February 2013, alongside accommodation and food service activities, which were up 3.7 per cent.
Professional, scientific and technical activities fell 12.6 per cent in February this year compared with the same month in 2013.