Production output up 45% in March

Ireland’s manufacturing industries showed strong growth in March — according to new CSO data — with production levels rising nearly 3% in the month and by as much as 45.5% on a year-on-year basis.

The monthly increase was driven by the so-called ‘modern’ sector — comprising high-tech and pharma sectors — which showed a near 8% production increase. Industrial output in the domestic ‘traditional’ sector was down by almost 3% in comparison.

According to commentators, the fresh data shows that the export sector has seen an exceptionally strong performance in the early part of the year.

“The spectacular annual growth in industrial output has been distorted upwards by contract manufacturing in the pharmaceutical sector. However, sectors such as food and beverages and computers and electronic equipment are registering very strong growth in early 2015,” noted Conall MacCoille, chief economist at Davy Stockbrokers.

Alan McQuaid of Merrion Stockbrokers suggested the new figures make for “very positive” reading.

“Following last year’s impressive increase of 20.9%, a further strong showing in Irish manufacturing output is forecast for this year. We expect another robust double-digit increase, which at this stage looks like being stronger than last year,” he said.

He added that while manufacturing growth will continue to be driven by the ‘modern’ sector, for the foreseeable future, the prospects remain very good for 2015, in this regard, while a pick-up in the global economy will also help.

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