Irish manufacturing hits a five-month high

The sector has benefited from favourable currency fluctuations

Irish manufacturing hits a five-month high

William Murphy, Flickr

Ireland's manufacturing sector has expanded at the fastest rate in five years during December, according to the Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index.

It climbed to 54.2 during the month - up from 53.3 in November, any value above 50 indicates growth.

The performance of the sector was bolstered by the weakening of the Euro, which has made Irish exports more competitive.

Ireland's sub-index for new orders hit a five-month high of 57.2 and new export orders reached a three-month high.

The survey showed that new business opportunities mean that employers intend to higher more staff.

Investec Ireland Chief Economist Philip O'Sullivan joined Business Breakfast, he says that the outlook for Irish manufacturing remains positive:

"It's been 31 months that we've had unbroken growth in the manufacturing PMI, we are seeing growth both at home and abroad," he said, adding that favourable currency fluctuations have contributed to this strong performance.

In the short term, he says that the US, UK and Eurozone remain the most important markets for Irish manufacturers while the country continues to make inroads in emerging markets.

While a potential British exit from the EU could disrupt trade, he says that he believes that Britain will ultimately reach a compromise which will see the public vote to remain part of the Union.