Ireland's manufacturing sector enjoyed a strong start to 2016, hitting a six month high in January.
The Investec's Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 54.3 during the month - up marginally from the 54.2 recorded in December of last year. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.
Investec noted that there was a significant increase in new orders during the month, this built on expansion last month - new orders grew at the fastest rate since July.
New business has increased in each month since July 2013, exports also increased despite increases in Sterling values.
Chief economist for Investec Ireland, Philip O'Sullivan commented on the figures:
"Notwithstanding the more troubled international backdrop, we are reassured by another sharp rise in the quantity of purchases, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than had been recorded in December.
"This buying activity, along with rising head counts, suggests that Irish manufacturers remain optimistic about the outlook for the sector."
The manufacturing sector in China contracted at its fastest pace in three and a half years in January - missing market expectations.
The official purchasing managers’ index was 49.4 in January - down from 49.7 in December of last year.
This is the sixth consecutive month of contraction in activity in China's factories.