Irish manufacturing growth slows
Irish manufacturing growth slowed in August from a 15-month high a month earlier, a survey showed today, a week after a draft European Commission report showed it would cut its Irish growth forecasts for next year.
The commission, part of a trio of lenders overseeing Dublin's €85 billion bailout, said it expected gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 1.4 per cent in 2013, half a per cent less than previously thought as the outlook for external demand deteriorated.
Manufacturing in Ireland's export-focused economy has so far weathered that slowdown quite well, with the NCB Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) climbing to 53.9 in July before falling back to 50.9 in August, its lowest level in four months.
That was still above the 50 line that separates growth from contraction, avoiding the fall in activity that was seen in eight of the nine months to February when the euro zone debt crisis was at its worst.
"Slower increases were recorded in output, new orders and employment," Markit, which compiles the data, said in a note.
"Meanwhile, input costs rose for the first time in three months but firms continued to lower their prices charged."
PMI indices in Ireland, which returned to long term bond markets in July, have been more positive than elsewhere in Europe in recent months and even though new export orders fell to 53.4 in August from 56.7 a month earlier, it was still the third highest recording in the last 12 months.
Irish manufacturing firms also took on extra staff again in August, although the latest rise in employment was only slight and the slowest over the course of six months of consecutive increases.