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Manufacturing sector growth weakened during December

December marked the eighth consecutive month of growth for the industry – although it was at a slower pace.

Image: Factory floor via Shutterstock

THE GROWTH IN Ireland’s manufacturing sector slowed last month, according to the latest NCB Purchasing Managers’ Index.

While both output and new orders increased during December, momentum showed signs of weakening as the pace was slower than in the previous four months.

The seasonally-adjusted index dropped from 52.4 to 51.4. Anything over 50 marks growth but it was the lowest reading since August.

In some more good news though, the data (which indicates the overall health of the industry) showed that firms continued to take on extra staff and new export orders increased at a “solid pace”. The latter was attributed to greater interest from the US.

The rate of input cost inflation remained sharp in December, with firms highlighting increased energy and fuel costs. Rising input prices led manufacturers to increase their charges, following a marginal reduction in the previous month. However, strong competition meant that the rate of inflation remained modest.

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