Manufacturing declines again as employee numbers fall
business confidence, remains historically weak as Brexit weighs on sentiment
Total orders were up marginally in November but new export sales fell for a fifth consecutive month
Irish manufacturing business conditions continued to worsen last month as a reduction in output led to workforce numbers falling for the first time since September 2016.
The AIB manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for November shows a sector that remains in the doldrums.
The headline PMI came in at 49.7, which is down from 50.7 in October, but above the levels of 48.6-48.7 recorded from July to September.
On the demand front, inflows of total new business increased for the second month running, albeit at a marginal pace. However, export sales declined and business confidence, while improving, remained historically weak as Brexit continued to weigh on sentiment.
“Overall, conditions in Irish manufacturing are best described as being flat. The November data show a marginal decline in production with a reading of 49.4, but a slight increase in new orders for a second consecutive month, with this sub-component at 50.5. Meanwhile, there was a small contraction in employment in November, which had increased modestly in the previous month,” said chief economist Oliver Mangan.
He attributed the slowdown to weakening foreign demand, noting that while total orders were up marginally last month, new export sales fell for a fifth consecutive month and at a solid pace.