DUBLIN, (Reuters) - - Growth in the Irish manufacturing sector slowed to a 12-month low in March after some of the country’s worst weather for decades shut down the economy for days at the start of the month, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slowed to 54.1 in March from 56.2 in February after Storm Emma forced businesses to use buffer stocks to help meet demand, the survey’s authors said.
“Anecdotal evidence overwhelmingly linked the slowdown in output growth to snow disruption caused by Storm Emma,” the authors said in a statement.
But the sector remained above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction for the 58th consecutive month as new orders and employment continued to grow sharply.
The future output index of expectations was little changed, with around 11 times as many manufacturers anticipating growth over the coming 12 months as those who foresee a decline, the survey showed.
“We wouldn’t read too much into this month’s data given the weather distortions and would expect a marked improvement when the April Manufacturing PMI report is released,” Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O’Sullivan said.
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Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Catherine Evans