Manufacturing remains on the up



According to Investec's Purchasing Manager's Index, manufacturing activity dropped to 52.8 in January from 53.5 in December, with any figure above 50 representing expansion.

"Although production growth slowed in January, new orders remained relatively robust, with improved demand reported from both domestic and export customers. Once again, the UK market was highlighted as a source of particular strength," said Investec Ireland's chief economist Philip O'Sullivan.

"Today's report represents a solid, if unspectacular, start to 2014 for the manufacturing sector. Broadly speaking, with activity having grown in every month since June 2013, the underlying trend remains intact.”

In December, employment grew across all three groups of manufacturing, i.e investment, intermediate and consumer goods. Unemployment in Ireland has now fallen to 12.4% - from a 15% high in 2012.