Employment in the sector failed to grow for the first time in more than three years
Manufacturing growth slowed last month as employment in the sector failed to grow for the first time in more than three years.
The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index retreated from 51.7 to 51.3 in September, but remained above 50, meaning that the sector expanded for the 40th month in a row.
Manufacturing's slowdown is having an effect on the rate of new hires, the employment sub-index fell into negative territory at 49.9, down from 52.8. This was its first contraction in over three years.
There were some positive signs on the new business front, with a second successive rise in new orders, but the rate of expansion here cooled compared to August.
Investec concludes that "well-founded caution" has set in among Irish manufacturers as 2016 begins to wind to a close.
On a more encouraging note, the new export orders index returned to growth after two months of declines, with the report saying that anecdotal evidence points to signs of improving global demand - despite the looming threat of instability and currency fluctuations as the UK leaves the EU.