Irish manufacturing output rose 32% in February

Further indications that the recovery in manufacturing is continuing apace in the early part of the year emerged yesterday as CSO data shed further light on the scale of increases in output.

Figures show output in the second month of the year was a massive 32% above levels recorded in the same period last year.

On a quarterly basis, output by Irish manufacturing firms climbed a more modest but still significant 2.2% on the preceding three-month period.

For 2014 as a whole, manufacturing output was 20.9% higher than the previous year as against an overall decline in production of 2.1% in 2013, with another very strong performance expected in 2015.

While Ireland is perfectly placed to take advantage of a global pick-up, one of the most crucial elements of the economy that must be retained is our competitiveness, Merrion Stockbrokers economist, Alan McQuaid warned yesterday.

“Ireland is better placed than most to take advantage of an upturn in the world economy, with the manufacturing PMI in expansionary territory for the 22 months up to March.

“However, it is crucial that the economy remains competitive, something which IDA Ireland has pointed out on a number of occasions recently. The last thing the country needs to do is put foreign-direct investment at risk,” said Mr McQuaid.

The “modern” sector of the CSO index posted a monthly rise of almost 26% in February and was up more than 45% in the year.

Chemicals and pharmaceuticals posted a year-on-year increase of 56%, while computer and electronic equipment was up just shy of 50% on an annual basis — both sectors accounted for in the report’s modern section.

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