Signs of recovery offer hope amid slump
Although the Ulster Bank PMI report showed the Northern Ireland economy is still contracting, the manufacturing sector has grown for the second consecutive month.
Sterling weakness has been partly behind the sector's recovery, making goods and services priced in pounds more competitive to buyers using foreign currency.
In addition, healthier economies in some of Northern Ireland's export destinations, such as the US and Europe, is also helping.
Bryan Gray from industry body Manufacturing NI said that pharmaceutical firms are performing well, while the PMI survey showed the food manufacturing sector is strong.
Craigavon company Almac is an example of a pharmaceutical company in good health at present and has recently opened a new factory in the US.
Despite the positive performance of the pharmaceutical sector, not all manufacturing companies are as robust.
Construction firms are still in a slump and the ripple effects from that means firms involved in fabrics, household goods and furniture are also struggling.