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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Jan 11, 2011 - 6:36 AM

Irish industrial production for November 2010 was 15.7% higher than in November 2009 but job numbers fell
By Finfacts Team
Jan 10, 2011 - 1:13 PM

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Source: CSO

On an annual basis Irish industrial production for November 2010 was 15.7% higher than in November 2009 according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). However, job numbers fell.

Then CSO said the most significant changes were in the following sectors: Basic pharmaceutical products and preparations (+34.6%) and Computer, electronic and optical products (-18.0%). The seasonally adjusted volume of industrial production for Manufacturing Industries for the three month period September 2010 to November 2010 was 3.8% lower than in the preceding three month period.

The “Modern” Sector, comprising a number of high-technology and chemical sectors, showed an annual increase in production for November 2010 of 21.7% and an increase of 3.2% was recorded in the “Traditional” Sector.

The seasonally adjusted industrial turnover index for Manufacturing Industries was 1.4% lower in the three month period September 2010 to November 2010 when compared with the preceding three month period On an annual basis turnover was 22.6% higher when compared with November 2009.

Commenting on the figures, IBEC senior economist Reetta Suonperä said: “Irish industry has shown itself to be exceptionally flexible and companies have been able to cut costs and improve productivity in response to the crisis. As global demand recovered, the benefits became apparent during 2010.

“We estimate that manufacturing output grew by about 7% during 2010 as a whole. From a slow start to the year, growth accelerated to 15.7% in November. Though chemicals and pharmaceuticals have been the two strongest sectors, growing by 31.5% in November, the recovery has spread to other sectors as well.

“Output in the traditional sectors grew by 3.2% in November and has been posting year-on-year growth since May 2010 after a very difficult 2009, when output fell by 14.1%. Some of the sectors that saw particularly steep falls in output during 2009 have returned to very strong growth in 2010 thanks to recovering demand and a weaker exchange rate. For instance, machinery and equipment, rubber and plastic, and basic metals all posted double-digit growth in November.

“The future for Irish industry is bright, but it is crucial that we do not take the foot of the pedal when it comes to improving productivity and reducing the cost of doing business. The only way Ireland can return to strong growth is through continued focus on improving our competitiveness,”
concluded Suonperä.

When Suonperä refers to Irish industry, she is referring to the mainly US-owned sector and despite the surge in pharmaceutical output, there has been no job creation.

There were 201,900 employed in the industrial sector in Q3 2009 and 201,500 employed a year later; in the chemical and medical devices sectors where there was a huge jump in output and exports, job numbers fell from 42,300 to 42,200.

Finfacts article: Irish Economy 2011: Rising Irish exports, the 'smart economy' and a jobless recovery

Davy economist, Conall MacCoille, commented:

Industrial production picks up compared to 2009

  • Today’s industrial production data for Ireland paint a mixed picture. Industrial production fell by 1.9% on the month in November. Three month on three month industrial production declined by 3.8% in November.

  • However, the annual growth rate rose sharply to 15.7% year-on-year in November from 8.7% in October.

  • But the increase in the annual rate of growth reflects the sharp monthly decline that occurred between October and November last year, so that the baseline for the annual comparison fell sharply.

Significant variations in performance of sectors

  • There were significant variations in the performance of different sectors. The 'modern' sector, comprising high-technology and chemical sectors, grew by 21.7% in annual terms compared with just 3.2% in the 'traditional' sector.

Annual rate of industrial production growth to remain robust in coming months

  • It is hard to discern a clear trend in the industrial production data given recent month-on-month declines in output.

  • But overall we expect the annual rate of growth to remain robust in the next few months given the recent positive data flow on global activity, particularly in the industrial sector.

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