Manufacturing Growth Hits Record High

02 Jan 2018 | 09.38 am

Manufacturing Growth Hits Record High

Big rises in new orders and hiring in December, says Investec

02 Jan 2018 | 09.38 am

Manufacturing sector growth through December hit a record high, according to Investec, spurred by a strong uptick in new orders.

Investec’s manufacturing PMI Ireland report for December recorded a figure of 59.1, up from 58.1 in November and the strongest reading in the PMI series’ 20-year history.

According to Investec, December data pointed to a substantial monthly increase in new orders at Irish manufacturing firms. Moreover, the rate of growth quickened for the second month running to the fastest since June 1998.

The rise in new orders was the third-fastest in the survey’s history, as survey respondents reported improved client demand over the month.

The increase in new orders came despite an easing in growth in new export orders, although overseas demand remained marked, particularly from North American customers.

Investec also found that employment growth surged to a record high in December. Alongside the need to increase staffing levels in line with higher new orders, firms also mentioned efforts to expand capacity for future projects.

Close to 31% of respondents noted a rise in employment, against 7% that posted a fall.

Other findings by Investec show that input costs for manufacturing firms through December rose at their fastest pace in nine months, thanks in the main to higher raw material costs.

More than six times as many companies expect to see growth in 2018 as opposed to those who anticipate a decline. “With global growth expected to improve to a seven-year high in 2018, we think that firms are right to be confident about their prospects for this year,” said Investec’s Philip O’Sullivan (pictured).

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