Wednesday, October 5, 2011

05/10/2011: Profitability data for September

Irish PMIs for Manufacturing and Services, as well as their employment sub-components, are all continuing to signal lack of substantive recovery in the real economy. In the mean time, despite relatively strong confidence, profit margins are tanking across the main sectors. Here's the latest data:

  • In September profit margin index (differential between output prices index and input prices index) in Services has fallen to -18.52 from -14.6. The index now stands well below all medium and long term averages. 12mo average is at -16.5, same as Q3 2011 average, a slight improvement on Q2 2011 average of -18.1. However, 2010 Q3 average was -9.1 and 2009 Q3 average was -5.6, implying dramatic worsening of the margins in the Services sector on 2009-2010. The last time profit margins were positive for Irish Services sector companies was in June 2009.
  • In September profit margin index in Manufacturing was -9.67 adding onto dismal reading of -15.62 in August. 12mo average is at -19.6, and Q3 2011 average was -13.4, an improvement on Q2 2011 average of -19.7. Last time profit margins in manufacturing moved in favor of Irish producers was in February 2009.

As margins usually translate into expansion, investment and, thus, employment, the above numbers are not encouraging...

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