Ireland PMI September 2020


Ireland: Manufacturing conditions stagnate in September

October 1, 2020

The AIB manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped from August’s 52.3 to 50.0 in September. As a result, the index landed on the 50-threshold, indicating that operating conditions in the manufacturing sector remained unchanged over the previous month, and marking the end of a three-month recovery.

September’s reading largely reflected contractions in output, new orders and employment being offset by a significant lengthening in suppliers’ delivery times owing to shortages and transport difficulties due to the health crisis. Moreover, export orders declined for the first time since May as elevated uncertainty amid the pandemic and ongoing Brexit negotiations hampered demand. This prompted firms to reduce staff levels once again, although the rate of job shedding eased compared to August. On the price front, input cost inflation rose to a 17-month high, chiefly driven by suppliers’ shortages, while output charges continued to fall in September but at a much softer pace.

Commenting on the reading, Oliver Mangan, AIB chief economist, noted:

“The details of the September survey show clear signs of a loss of momentum in manufacturing. […] "Overall, the September PMI data show that Covid-19 continues to result in challenging business conditions in the manufacturing sector. Firms, though, remain hopeful that the business environment will improve next year.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project fixed investment to contract 6.7% in 2020, which is up 3.6 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2021, the panel sees fixed investment growth of 1.2%.


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Ireland PMI Chart

Ireland Manufacturing PMI September 20 20

Note: Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index. Readings above 50 indicate an overall increase compared to the previous month, and below 50 an overall decrease.
Source: IHS Markit, AIB

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