Irish industrial production only grew by 0.2% in the year to February as output of the dominant pharmaceutical sector fell. Industrial production fell 2.3% in the month.
About 60% of merchandise exports are made by the mainly US-owned pharmaceutical and medical devices sector.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said that on an annual basis production for Manufacturing Industries for February 2011 was 0.2% higher than in February 2010.
The most significant changes were in the following sectors: Food Products (-1.6%) and Computer, electronic and optical products (-3.9%). The seasonally adjusted volume of industrial production for Manufacturing Industries for the three month period December 2010 to February 2011 was 0.4% higher than in the preceding three month period.
The “Modern” Sector, comprising a number of high-technology and chemical sectors, showed an annual decrease in production for February 2011 of 0.8% and an increase of 0.6% was recorded in the “Traditional” Sector.
It is unusual for the annual output of the mainly foreign-owned sector to fall and this will be reflected in the quarterly national accounts data. it should however be noted that the monthly data is volatile as if batch chemical production is difficult to track. So maybe March may have more positive data.
The seasonally adjusted industrial turnover index for Manufacturing Industries was 0.2% lower in the three month period December 2010 to February 2011 when compared with the preceding three month period. On an annual basis turnover was 5.9% higher when compared with February 2010.
The CSO said that the Industrial Production & Turnover Indices will now be seasonally adjusted using X-12-ARIMA. This improved approach identifies and corrects for factors that will impact on the quality of the seasonal adjustment estimation, e.g. the timing of Easter. Also, seasonal factors will now be calculated each month.
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