Weak euro helps manufacturing sector bounces back from 16 month low

Irish manufacturing sector growth rebounded from a 16-month low in July as the weak euro boosted exports, a new survey has shown.

The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 56.7 in July from 54.6 in June. But it remained below the 15-year high of 57.5 posted in February.

The index has held above the 50 line denoting growth since May 2013, when Ireland was in an international bailout programme.

Ireland was the fastest-growing economy in the European Union last year, with gross domestic product increasing 5.2 percent.

The new export orders subindex climbed to 58.9 from 56.1 to reach its highest level since February. Overall new orders and employment improved on the previous month, while input prices fell.

“The strengthening of output, new orders and employment in July gives confidence to our view that activity levels for Irish manufacturing firms are likely to pick up again in Q3 after a slower finish to Q2,” said Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O’Sullivan.

“The single currency’s continued weakness against both the dollar and sterling augurs well for exports to the US and UK, two critical markets for Irish exporters,” he said.

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