Ireland’s manufacturing growth improved in March, mainly driven by new orders, output and employment, which high inflationary pressures and the war in Ukraine damped confidence, survey data from S&P Global showed on Friday.
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 59.4 in March from an 11-month low of 57.8 in February.
Any reading above 50.0 indicates expansion in the sector. The conditions strengthened every month since October 2020.
Inflationary pressures were the strongest since the survey began in 1998. Both the input and output prices rose at a record rates due to the war in Ukraine.
Demand rose in March, as new orders increased at the fastest rate since August 2021, with the pace of growth highest on record.
New export growth moderated in March, while output growth surged to the highest level in three months.
Employment increased at the strongest rate in seven months in March. Backlogs of work rose for the thirteenth month in a row, albeit at a weaker rate.
Suppliers’ delivery time lengthened in March, albeit at the weakest since December 2020, and purchasing activity accelerated.
“In terms of the 12-month outlook, sentiment while still positive, saw it’s biggest decline in two years with firms expressing concerns about the impact on activity from the war in Ukraine,” Oliver Mangan, AIB chief economist, said.