Irish manufacturing growth ends 2017 at record high - PMI

Operating conditions for manufacturing best in 5 years during December: Nikkei PMI

The headline manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 54.9 in December from 52.9 in October.

Readings above 50 signal an expansion while readings below 50 signal a contraction.

"Weak domestic demand was reported as the key reason behind lower volumes of new business, as new export orders rose for the second month in succession".

As a result, output, employment and purchasing activity all increased at stronger rates in December.

The moderate decline in headline PMI was mainly attributable to the lower inventory, while production growth remained solid despite the "unfavorable working day effect", as there were two fewer working days in December 2017 compared with past year, said a CICC research report. India's retail inflation in November breached the central bank's medium-term target of 4 per cent, which could put pressure on it to raise policy rates in the coming months. In fact, job creation accelerated to the strongest since August 2012, the survey said.

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The uptrend was driven by stronger market demand from home and global markets, Dodhia added.

"Challenges remain as the economy adjusts to recent shocks, but the overall upturn was robust compared to the trend observed for the survey history", Dodhia said.

Firms were more upbeat about their outlook and potential growth in 2018, as the future output index strengthened.

Turning to margins, the report from Investec found that input costs rose at their fastest pace in nine months, with higher raw material costs widely mentioned by panellists.

Despite December's poor data, businesses retained positive forecasts for output over the next 12 months as manufacturers project improvement in underlying demand conditions according to anecdotal evidence.

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