'Healthy' manufacturing numbers


Employment in manufacturing rose in June at the fastest rate in more than 12 years, new data showed today.

The NCB manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the overall health of the sector, found employment grew for the third month in a row, measuring 55.9. The 50 mark separates expansion from contraction.

That was the fastest rate since December 1999, and followed a rise in production.

The manufacturing sector continued to grow last month, with the overall index measuring 53.1, following a reading of 51.2 in May.

The figures showed a healthy rise in output, with a reading of 54.6, while new orders reached 53.6 and new export business continued to perform well, at 52.5.

NCB chief economist Brian Devine described the data a "healthy set of numbers which bodes well for the Irish economy".

In a positive move for the industry, input costs showed their first fall in more than two years, as firms benefited from a general drop in commodity prices. Companies largely left prices unchanged over the month.