Economics: Irish manufacturing PMI falls to 55.4 in September from 56.1 in August

Irish manufacturing grew solidly in September as new orders posted their strongest performance since 2015, although some firms pointed to weakening demand from neighbouring Britain, a new survey showed on Monday.

Irish economic growth for 2017 and 2018 is forecast to be faster than it was a year ago, after the initial, muted impact from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

Business surveys have supported those forecasts. The Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 55.4 in September, down slightly from the two-year high of 56.1 a month earlier but still far above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction.

The sub-index measuring new orders rose to a 26-month high of 58.5 from 57.7, but growth in exports, which contracted for the first time in three years ahead of last year’s Brexit referendum, slowed slightly.

Notwithstanding the increase in client demand, Irish manufacturing firms also eased the pace of hiring activity last month, with the employment component moderating to its weakest level in the current 12 month sequence of expansion.

Alan McQuaid