DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish factory activity shrank for the fourth successive month in September and is stuck around levels posted in July and August as a global manufacturing slowdown and Brexit uncertainty weigh on demand, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The AIB IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 48.7 in September, up slightly from 48.6 in August and in line with July’s 48.7.
The survey’s authors said anecdotal evidence from panelists suggested the fall below the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction was due to deteriorating demand conditions at home and abroad.
Ireland’s economy weathered the uncertainty created by the June 2016 vote by Britain, its near neighbour and close trading partner, to leave the EU, but the survey showed a reduction in new business from abroad with notably softer UK demand.
The sub-index measuring new export orders was 46.0 versus 48.5 in August, which is the fastest rate of contraction for new business from abroad since August 2009.
“The weak Irish data of recent months clearly show that the sharp slowdown in global manufacturing over the past year or more is being felt in Ireland also,” AIB Chief Economist Oliver Mangan said.
“Brexit uncertainty is an additional negative factor weighing on activity here,” he added, noting the Irish September PMI weakened less than the euro zone average.
Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by Catherine Evans