Markit/Investec Manufacturing PMI for Ireland came out today showing continued and robust growth in the sector (or in the sub-sample of the sector covered by the survey).
Per Markit: "The Irish manufacturing sector registered a further strong improvement in operating conditions during March, helped by a series-record rise in employment. Job creation was linked to a further sharp increase in output requirements amid strong new order growth. The recent weakness of the euro against both the US dollar and sterling led to a first increase in input prices in three months."
Balmy conditions in the sector have meant that the PMI slipped somewhat from the scorching hot reading of 57.5 in February to a hot and humid 56.8 in March. Trend is flattening out, as expected, given the already surreal readings and the fact that the index has been over 50.0 for 22 consecutive months and within statistically significant difference from 50.0 for 19 months straight.
Aside from the above, anecdotal evidence - from one of the larger trade bodies - suggests that externally trading SMEs are now showing serious uptick in their exporting activity due to improved exchange rate environment.
Cited by Markit employment outlook strength is confirmed by today's Live Register data for February 2015 which shows:
- Significant declines in Live Register y/y
- Broad declines in Live Register across duration of registrations (long- and short-term supports); and
- Broad declines in Live Register by occupation, with all occupations posting decreases in LR.
So on the net - good news.