Annual Irish production output for Manufacturing Industries in May 2009 was 4.3% lower than in May 2008. The seasonally adjusted volume of industrial production for Manufacturing Industries for the three month period March to May 2009 was 2.3% higher than in the preceding three month period. There was an 18.7% growth in pharmaceutical output, according to the CSO.
Irish manufacturing is dominated by foreign-owned firms.
The “Modern” Sector, comprising a number of high-technology and chemical sectors, showed an annual increase in production for May 2009 of 1.3% while a decrease of 12.1% was recorded in the “Traditional” Sector.
Introduction of Rebased Series (Base: year 2005=100)
The latest data incorporates rebased monthly Production and Turnover indices compiled with respect to a new base year (year 2005=100) and using updated weights taken from the Census of Industrial Production 2005. The new series replace the former series (base: year 2000=100).
The indices are also reclassified in accordance with NACE Rev. 2 i.e. the most recent Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Union.
The introduction of the NACE Rev. 2 classification has led to some significant changes to results when compared with previous Rev. 1.1 results. The main changes are due to the use of revised weights from the Census of Industrial Production 2005 and the reclassification of local units in the Publishing sector (Rev. 1.1 NACE 22) to the Services sector.
Commenting on the CSO figures, IBEC Chief Economist David Croughan said: "Although the total figures recorded only a modest decline and compared well with many other economies, which have suffered sharper falls in output, the strength came almost entirely from the 18.7% growth in pharmaceutical output.
"Output in other modern sectors such as computers, electronic and optical equipment was down by over 22%. Output in the traditional sectors fell by an annual 13.8% in the first five months of the year, with very large declines of between 30% and 46% recorded in metals and engineering, non-metallic mineral products and wood.
"A welcome aspect was the modest fall of only 0.4% in food output, though this masked significant variations, with growth in dairy and grain output of close to 8% being offset by a fall of over 12% in meat products. Despite this apparently reasonable output performance the data show that the sector is facing extreme pressures due to weak global commodity prices and continuing exchange rate difficulties.
"There was evidence of growing pressure on margins, as in May the production index fell by an annual 4.3% while the value of turnover fell by 10%, suggesting significant price reductions."