DUBLIN, April 3 - Growth in Irish manufacturing slowed for the third month in a row in March on weak new orders as costinflation pushed prices up, a survey showed on Monday.
The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers index slipped to 53.6 from 53.8 a month earlier and from a 20-month high of 55.7 in December. But it remained above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction for the 46th month in a row.
Ireland, the EU's fastest growing economy, is widely seen as the member state most at risk from Britain's decision to leave the European Union.
Output, new orders and purchasing activity all increased at weaker rates, while output prices hit their highest level in six years, the survey showed.
But as Britain and the European Union kick off two years of Brexit talks, there were some signs of optimism, with 51 percent of panelists predicted a rise in output over the coming year. "Given the improving global economic backdrop, we think that this optimism is warranted," said Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O’Sullivan.
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(Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by John Stonestreet)