A slump in manufacturing activity deepened slightly last month, hitting a fresh three year low and leading to a fall in employment in the sector for only the second month across that period, a survey showed today.
The AIB S&P Global manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 47.3 from 47.5 in May.
The PMI stayed below the line separating expansion from contraction for the fourth successive month and sixth time in the last eight months.
Like in other euro zone countries, the country’s services sector has continued to grow strongly and the economy as a whole is expected to expand again this year after being the fastest growing across the bloc last year.
That has helped push the unemployment rate to a record low of 3.8%.
But respondents to the survey said they were increasingly reluctant to replace voluntary leavers amid what they described as widespread weakness in demand.
The weak demand also acted to further reduce cost pressures. Input prices dropped for the third month in a row and at the sharpest pace in over three years, while selling prices fell at the most pronounced pace since February 2016.
Inflation fell to a near two-year low of 4.8% last month, preliminary data showed last week, although core inflation remained steady at 5.7%.