DUBLIN, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Irish manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in eight months in January as growth in output and orders at home and from abroad eased, a survey showed on Monday.
The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, the first piece of data indicating how the economy has been fairing so far in 2015, stood at 55.1 in January, down from 56.9 a month earlier.
It was the slowest rate of growth since May last year but was well above the 50 mark denoting growth, where it has been for 20 months in a row.
The subindex measuring new export orders, which hit a five-year high of 61.7 in December, fell back to 57.6 in January, the poll showed on Monday.
"Last month we noted that the deteriorating global backdrop was a concern for the sector heading in to the New Year, and this is likely to have been a factor behind the moderation in a number of the indices mentioned above," said Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan.
"With that being said, the report shows the sector remains in growth mode as client demand continued to improve."
Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Hugh Lawson