|Source: CSO |
On an annual basis Irish industrial production for Manufacturing Industries for August 2009 was 13.9% lower than in August 2008, the CSO said today, compared with 8.9% in the year to July. Sales are down 23.6%.
The annual rise to June 2009 was 4.3%.
US-owned companies dominate Irish manufacturing, led by chip giant Intel but it's the pharmaceutical/medical devices sector that has shone during the recession.
People easy latch onto good data but the nature of batch chemical production is that it is volatile and in some cases because of tax issues, including patents placed in Ireland, which take advantage of a zero tax on patent income, there may well be little processing involved.
The pharmaceutical/medical devices sector accounts for 56% of Irish merchandise exports.
The monthly overall change in August, compared with July was a fall of 18.1% and a drop in sales of 9.3%.
Food and beverages rose 11% in August; the monthly drop in the pharma categories was above 40%.
So in July, before the holiday period, there was a lot of activity to ship products from the pharma sector.
The sectors contributing most to the change were: Basic pharmaceutical products and preparations (-13.7%), Computer, electronic and optical products (-37.1%) - - closure of Dell Computer's plant in Limerick, reflected in this data -- and Other manufacturing (+35.1%).
The seasonally adjusted volume of industrial production for Manufacturing Industries for the three month period June to August 2009 was 3.6% 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 August 2009 of 14.1% while a decrease of 12.8% was recorded in the “Traditional” Sector.
The seasonally adjusted industrial turnover index for Manufacturing Industries was 12.6% lower in the three month period June to August 2009 when compared with the preceding three month period. On an annual basis turnover was 23.6% lower when compared with August 2008.
Commenting on the figures, IBEC chief economist David Croughan said that in the eight months to August manufacturing output was 2% down on the same period of 2008. This was not a bad performance given the collapse of global markets and the intense pressures manufacturers were operating under as a result of the fall in the value of key currencies such as sterling and the dollar.
“When you see the volume of Manufacturing production fall by 13.8% but the value of output falling by 23.5%, it gives you some idea of how much manufacturers are reducing prices and how great the squeeze on margins is,” he said.
He pointed out that while the output of the pharmaceutical sector had risen by 15.6% in the first eight months of the year, it was a concern that the output of the normally resilient ICT sector had fallen by over 25%. In the traditional sectors output had fallen by 15%. New orders in the three months to July were running 10% below the same period of 2008 and in August – probably not the most reliable month because of the holiday season – orders were down 23%.
“This does not suggest that output is likely to recover any time soon” he said, “and emphasises the need to become more competitive by reducing costs and wages.”