Ireland’s manufacturing output soared in February. In fact, its growth in this sector reached its highest level in the last 15 years, according to the Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). In analyzing the PMI, any number above 50 indicates manufacturing expansion. In February, Ireland’s PMI increased to 57.5, while the Eurozone’s PMI remained unchanged at 51.0 from the prior month. Ireland’s high PMI score is a result of high growth in manufacturing orders, production, and jobs.

Like Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany all experienced expansion in their manufacturing sectors. In contrast, Austria, Greece, and France suffered declines in their outputs. This combination of expansion and contraction caused the overall Eurozone manufacturing industry growth rate to remain unchanged. In particular, positive job growth and low input costs, which are due to low oil prices, fueled the expansion of the manufacturing industry in Europe. Low PMI scores for France and Austria were primarily caused by declines in production and orders, which in turn led to job loss.

Although the Eurozone remains vulnerable as it recovers from the financial crisis, increased GDP growth is projected for 2015. It is a positive sign that the manufacturing sector is expanding, albeit rather slowly, because the manufacturing industry is a strong driver of overall economic growth. If the Eurozone can continue to expand its manufacturing sector, it is likely that the rest of the region’s economy will follow.

Check out Ireland’s economy page and discover what percentage of GDP is derived from its manufacturing sector. Other information such as Ireland’s top trade partners, exported goods, and industries is also available on this page.

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