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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Jul 14, 2014 - 4:44 PM

Irish industrial production fell in May; up 32.3% in 12 months & 16.4% in period 2010-2014
By Finfacts Team
Jul 11, 2014 - 4:51 PM

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Irish industrial production for May 2014 was 2.5% lower than in April 2014. On an annual basis production for May 2014 increased by 32.3% when compared with May 2013. The seasonally adjusted volume of industrial production for Manufacturing Industries for the three months Mar 2014 to May 2014 was 17.9% higher than in the preceding three months - - using a base year=2010 changed from a base year of 2005, production is up 16.4% in the period 2010-2014 while turnover is up 19.3%.

The CSO said the “Modern” Sector, comprising a number of high-technology and chemical sectors, showed a monthly fall in production for May 2014 of 0.7%. There was also monthly drop of 0.8% in the “Traditional” Sector.

There was an increase of 1.3% in the seasonally adjusted industrial turnover index for Manufacturing Industries in May 2014 when compared with April 2014 . On an annual basis turnover increased by 18.9% when compared with May 2013.

Conall Mac Coille, chief economist at Davy, commented : "Overall, today’s Irish industrial production data are good news. The pharmaceutical sector appears to be bouncing back, with output continuing to recover in indigenous domestic companies.

That said, the spectacular 32.3% growth in manufacturing output in the year to May probably overstates the true improvement in conditions, reflecting volatility and highlighting the risk of further revisions going forward. Today’s data were the first to incorporate methodological changes and reweighting of sectors - - raising the probability of future revisions.

The pick-up in manufacturing output has been largely driven by the pharmaceutical sector, where output is up 72% on the year. Modern sector output, dominated by multinationals, is up 51% year-on-year. On the way down, the negative impact of the pharmaceutical patent cliff had little traction on the domestic economy. So we would not expect the rebound in pharmaceutical output this year to have much positive impact on consumer spending or employment in 2014.

But at least the pharmaceutical sector will not artificially distort downwards Irish GDP growth this year, having driven a wedge between the 0.2% GDP growth recorded in 2013 and the 3.2% rise in GNP (excluding a 14% fall in multinational sector profits). Industry now looks set to make a strong positive contribution to Irish GDP growth in the second quarter. If output is flat in June, manufacturing production will have grown by 18% quarter-on-quarter in Q2 2014.

More encouraging is the news that output in the traditional sector has grown by 19.3% in the year to May. The traditional sector accounts for two-thirds of overall employment in Irish industry. The food sector is performing well, with output of food products and beverages up 3.5%; basic metal and fabricated metal products are up 13.1%; and output of tobacco, coke and refined petroleum products is up 41.3% on the year. These developments suggest that employment in Irish industry should continue to expand. However, the eye-catching 19% growth in traditional sector output could well be revised down in the future."

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