Economics: Irish manufacturing PMI surges to 18-year high of 58.1 in November from 54.4 in October

Growth in Ireland’s manufacturing sector surged to an 18-year high in November, a new survey showed on Friday, with strong new orders at home and abroad defying fears “Brexit” would trigger a slowdown in Britain’s closest neighbour.

Ireland is widely seen as the European Union country most exposed to Britain’s decision to leave the bloc, but after the muted initial impact of the “Brexit” vote, Dublin this year raised its economic growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018.

The Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) indicated strong growth is likely to continue, climbing to 58.1 in November, its highest level since December 1999, from 54.4 in October. It has remained above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction for over four years.

Irish manufacturing businesses remain very upbeat about the prospects for the sector, with only one in 16 panellists expecting to see a reduction in production over the coming 12 months.

The expansion in the new business sub-index was the fastest since the end of 1999 and one of the steepest in the survey’s history. Those questioned linked higher output to new order growth in both domestic and export markets. New export orders have now risen in each of the past 15 months.

Employment has risen in each of the past 14 months, with growth strongest in consumer and investment goods.

Alan McQuaid (01/12/17)