Solid growth for manufacturing sector despite slowing expansion

Employment continues to grow despite softening in new orders

The manufacturing sector showed resilience in October, IHS Markit said. Photograph: iStock

The manufacturing sector showed resilience in October, IHS Markit said. Photograph: iStock

 

Ireland’s manufacturing sector grew at the slowest rate in seven months in October, as total new work and export sales weakened.

But there was still solid growth in the sector, with the IHS Markit Purchasing Managers Index recording 54.9 for the month, down from 56.3 the previous month.

The survey, which measures the health of the manufacturing industry, said new orders continued to rise during October, but the rate of expansion slowed for the second month in a row. Export sales were also higher, but with growth at the softest pace for three months. There was increased demand from the UK and Russia noted by some respondents.

But although growth slowed markedly in October, employment continued to grow during the month, and business confidence was strongly positive.

Both input costs and output charges were higher, rising at sharper rates than before. Input prices were at the highest rate in eight months.

Amritpal Virdee, Economist at IHS Markit, said the sector was showing signs of resilience.

“ Many firms hired additional staff in anticipation of greater customer orders both at home and in key export markets,” he said. “Looking forward, panellists were optimistic with almost half of firms surveyed expecting an increase of output over the coming year. Optimism was linked to new product launches and predictions of improving demand in key export markets such as Asia and the US.”