Ireland: Manufacturing PMI recedes from over-16-year high in March; still points to expansion
April 1, 2015
The Investec manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell from 57.5 in February, which had marked the highest value since December 1999, to 56.8 in March. As a result, the index still rests comfortably above the 50-threshold that indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector.
March’s mild moderation mainly reflected that output grew at a slower pace than in the previous month. Nevertheless, business continued to be sustained by increasing new business from domestic sources and export sources, which was helped by the weak euro. New orders increased for a 21st straight month and employment rose at the fastest pace since records began in 1998. Input costs registered their first increase since the end of 2014, reflecting the impact of the depreciation of the euro against the U.S. dollar and the sterling. However, firms reduced their charges. Further, purchasing activity continued to increase and stocks of finished goods continued to drop.
According to the survey report, “[w]hile the headline PMI moderated slightly […], it is still consistent with a sharp rate of growth. The headline PMI has been above the 50 ‘no change’ line for 22 successive months. […]If there is one area of (slight) concern at this time it is that any uncertainty ahead of next month’s UK election, particularly if it impacts the currency markets, would be unhelpful, given that our closest has repeatedly been identified as a key source of demand by firms in the sector.”