Ireland: Manufacturing PMI dips for third consecutive month in March
April 3, 2017
The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped from February’s 53.8 to 53.6 in March. The reading marked the slowest expansion since October 2016 and the third consecutive decline. Despite the drop, the indicator remains above the 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector, where it has been for 46 consecutive months.
March’s reading came on the back of softer growth in output, purchasing activity and new orders. New orders expanded on the back of increased overseas demand for Irish goods. The higher volume of new orders contributed to a marginal accumulation of work backlogs. Staffing levels and purchasing activity by manufacturing firms increased in the surveyed month to meet higher output requirements. Input prices moderated slightly from the almost seven-year high observed in February and goods producers passed on higher costs to buyers, which rose at the sharpest rate in almost six years.
Regarding the latest one-year outlook reading among Irish manufacturers, chief economist Philip O’Sullivan commented that the subcomponent shows “that more than half of all firms expect to raise their output over the coming 12 months. Given the improving global economic backdrop, we think that this optimism is warranted.”