Ireland: Manufacturing PMI edges up in February
The AIB manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slightly rose to 52.0 in February from January’s 51.8. As a result, the index inched further above the 50-threshold that indicates an improvement in Irish business conditions compared to the previous month.
February’s uptick largely came on the back of supply chain delays and a rise in employment. As a result of Covid-19 restrictions, delivery times reached record delays. Moreover, expectations for workloads to rebound this year led employment to increase for the fifth straight month and a stronger pace from January. Meanwhile, stricter lockdown measures resulted in new work declining further this month, driving production to contract at the sharpest rate since May 2020. Regarding prices, input cost inflation rose to the highest in four years amid raw material shortages and higher shipping costs, which was largely passed on to consumers, with output charge inflation reaching the highest in nearly 10 years. Finally, although optimism among manufacturers eased, they remained upbeat on the vaccine rollout and eased restrictions reducing the economic impact from the pandemic.