Irish factory activity rebounds in July from lockdown lows - PMI

DUBLIN, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Ireland’s manufacturing sector posted its fastest growth in almost two years in July as it rebounded from COVID-19 lockdown lows, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The AIB IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’Index (PMI) survey climbed to 57.3 in July from 51.0 in June, continuing its return from a low of 36.0 in April. A figure above 50 denotes growth.

The survey, which measures month-on-month change rather than an indication of overall level activity, is in line with the trend in other countries, AIB Chief Economist Oliver Mangan said.

“The strong reading for July points to a sharp pick-up in activity, but from a low base in previous months during the lockdown period,” Mangan said.

Output and new orders both expanded at some of the fastest rates ever recorded by the survey, although the 12-month outlook remained relatively subdued. The future output subindex was 60.3, down from 63.3 in June and 72.3 in January.

The rebound in manufacturing comes despite the fact that Ireland has reopened its economy more gradually than much of Europe. The government is still advising against all non-essential international travel and retaining restrictions on bars and indoor gatherings of over 50 people. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Hugh Lawson)