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Good news: the manufacturing sector just hit 15 year highs

Ireland is bucking the wider European trend with overwhelmingly positive figures for last month.

Image: Press Association Images

MANUFACTURING COMPANIES ARE growing at the fastest rate for 15 years, with output and new orders rising sharply as the economic recovery gathers pace.

The Investec manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for August climbed to 57.3 from 55.4 in July, which the asset management group said was a “marked improvement in Irish manufacturing activity”.

The sector added jobs for the 15th month in a row, with headcounts in August increasing at the highest rate for three months.

Investec chief economist Philip O’Sullivan said that the rate of expansion in activity is the fastest since December 1999.

Irish manufacturing is outperforming all major European economies, with activity slowing in many major industrial hubs, including France and Germany.

O’Sullivan said that “improving demand from both the export and domestic markets helped the new orders component rise to its highest level in almost 15 years”.

The UK and Asian markets were cited as major sources of new work during August.

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Ireland is doing particularly well “against the backdrop of weakening signs from some eurozone trading partners of late, although the prognosis for Ireland’s two key trading partners (The US and UK) remains encouraging”.

He argued that the manufacturing sector should enjoy strong tailwinds during the final part of the year, despite broader risks to global growth and geopolitical tensions.

Read: Don’t go beyond €500 million in budget cuts – that’s what Investec are telling the Government>

Read: Manufacturing orders rising at fastest pace in three years>

About the author:

Jack Horgan-Jones

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