Modern manufacturing production down 32.2% in August to October

Manufacturing production was down 16.9% during same period while food production rose 7%

Production in the modern manufacturing sector, which includes the chemicals and pharmaceuticals as well as electronics, fell by 32.2 per cent in the three months from August to October, compared with the same period in 2022.

Latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that across all manufacturing industries, production was down 30.6 per cent between August and October, compared with the same period last year.

Manufacturing production was down 16.9 per cent when comparing the August to October period with the previous three months from May to July, and fell by 5.2 per cent between September and October of this year.

However, at the same time overall turnover in manufacturing industries increased, rising by 2.9 per cent between August and October.


Eamonn Cleary, statistician in the business statistics division of the CSO, noted that changes in production were not uniform across different industrial subsectors.

“The highly globalised modern sector, which includes the chemical, pharmaceutical and computer and electronic sectors, experienced a 32.2 per cent decrease in industrial production from August to October 2023, compared with the same period in 2022. In contrast, the traditional sector experienced an increase of 2.9 per cent over the same period,” he said.

The traditional sector includes all industrial activities apart from the modern sector, such as mining and quarrying, the majority of manufacturing outside of modern sectors, and electricity generation and distribution.

Among individual sub-sectors, food production rose by 7 per cent in the three months from August to October (when compared with the same time last year), while production of transport equipment rose by 22.1 per cent.

Over the same period, production of textiles, clothes and leather products fell by 8.4 per cent, and production of metal and metal products rose by 6.7 per cent.

The CSO highlighted the scale of intellectual property located in Ireland which has grown in recent years, and which brings with it significant increases in contract manufacturing activity attributable to Ireland through the multinational sector.

Earlier this month, a 1.9 per cent contraction in Ireland’s gross domestic product (GDP) between July and September was largely attributed to a contraction in multinational industry, as Minister for Finance Michael McGrath noted an ongoing fall-off in demand for Covid-related pharmaceutical products.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.