‘Weak’ Irish industrial output recorded in January

Outlook for production this year remains ‘very uncertain’, economist says

The “weak” results point to a “disappointing start to 2018”, said Alan McQuaid, economist with Merrion stockbrokers. Photograph: iStock

The “weak” results point to a “disappointing start to 2018”, said Alan McQuaid, economist with Merrion stockbrokers. Photograph: iStock

 

Irish industrial output fell off in January amid an uncertain environment for Irish producers given ongoing issues surrounding Brexit.

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office show production for manufacturing industries in January was 2.7 per cent lower than in December and 2.6 per cent lower than in the same month of 2017.

The “weak” results point to a “disappointing start to 2018”, said Alan McQuaid, economist with Merrion stockbrokers, who noted the outlook for production this year “remains very uncertain”.

“At this early stage, we would say another small single-digit decline is on the cards in 2018, but that is subject to change when more data become available in the coming months,” he added.

Modern sector

The “modern” sector, which includes multinational producers and pharmaceuticals, computer and medical businesses, showed a significant monthly decrease of 4 per cent of January and an annual decrease of 2.2 per cent.

While the drop in monthly production in the “traditional” sector, which encompasses all industries including the “modern” sector, wasn’t as sharp as in the “modern” sector at 3.4 per cent, over the course of the year overall production fell 7.5 per cent.

Turnover, which measures the changes in the level of sales each month of industrial products, increased by 5.6 per cent for manufacturing industries in January when compared with December 2017. On an annual basis, turnover increased by 14.2 per cent.