Irish Manufacturing Expands

Irish manufacturing expanded in March for the first time in more than two years as the global economic recovery boosted export demand, the Irish Independent has reported.

An index of manufacturing activity increased to 53 from 48.6 in February, NCB Stockbrokers said in a monthly report today.

Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. The latest figures represent the first time in 28 months that the reading has passed this threshold.

An index of new orders rose to 56.2 from 48.2, the highest since September 2007.

The gauge of export orders jumped to a record 61.9 from 56.8. Still, employment in manufacturing continued to fall, NCB said.

"The most encouraging thing about this month’s survey was that panelists indicated that demand had strengthened in domestic as well as foreign markets," said NCB economist Brian Devine.

There is evidence that the Irish domestic market may also have bottomed, according to Mr Devine.


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