Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland’s manufacturing output soars 15% in a year 

By Colm Kelpie

The total value of products manufactured and sold in the Republic last year was €133.3bn (£119bn) — up over 15% on 2015, official data shows.

The most significant increase in net selling value — the amount received by the seller after deducting production costs — was in the pharmaceutical sector.

Basic pharmaceutical products and preparations more than doubled over a two-year period from €25.5bn (£23bn) in 2014 to €58.3bn (£52bn) last year, according to the data published by the Central Statistics Office.

Strong performances were also reported in the food, chemical and computer sectors, with all four sectors combined accounting for about 83%, or €110.4bn (£99bn), of total net selling value in Ireland last year. That’s up a massive 80.6% on 2015. 

The figures do not reflect the bounce in contract manufacturing, in which companies based in the Republic contract firms overseas to do work for them, and which helped skew the GDP figures in 2015. 

The data records only products manufactured and sold in Ireland.

That means it reflects buoyant domestic consumption, suggesting consumers and businesses are so far shrugging off concerns over Brexit.

The figures also tally with the strong purchasing managers index reports for Ireland’s manufacturing sector, with the last month recording the most marked improvement in the sector in two years.

The key highlight from that survey was a sharp and accelerated rise in manufacturing production.

Output increased at the fastest pace for close to two years on the back of improving client demand leading to higher new orders, although new orders from abroad helped drive that demand.

That indicates that Ireland’s exporting sector may so far be weathering any Brexit effect.

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