Ireland: Manufacturing PMI jumps to eight-month high in March
April 1, 2016
The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from 52.9 in February to 54.9 in March. The PMI remains comfortably above the 50-threshold that indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector, where it has been for 34 consecutive months. March’s result is the highest reading since July and shows strong dynamism in the manufacturing sector at the end of the first quarter.
March’s result reflected a broad-based increase in all five components of the index. New orders increased sharply on the back of higher new export business. Higher new orders led to an increase in manufacturing production, which, in turn, resulted in higher employment growth. Backlogs of work and outstanding business both decreased as manufacturing capacity improved. Meanwhile, input costs fell for the seventh consecutive month in March as prices for raw materials remained muted.
According to the survey report, “today’s Investec Manufacturing PMI Ireland release reveals an uptick in the rate of growth in March, with the headline PMI improving to 54.9, an eight month high, from February’s 52.9 reading. Notwithstanding this improvement, the implied pace of expansion remains slower than the strong growth that was seen for much of 2014 and the first half of 2015. […] At first glance this is a surprise, given the more unsettled international backdrop, but we note that only about a third of panelists reported increased new business.”