Data released by the Irish Central Statistics Office showed that industrial production in Ireland fell by 1% in August compared to the previous month. On a year by year basis production tumbled by almost 7%.
The sharp fall was being blamed on declines in the modern sector, which is dominated by pharmaceutical firms that are being hit by patent expirations, harming output. Production in the modern sector rose by 0.4 per cent on a monthly basis, but is down 11.4% in the year to August. The traditional sector meanwhile edged higher by 0.9%.
On a month by month basis turnover in the industrial sector climbed by 2.5% but fell 2.8% on a yearly basis. Manufacturing accounts for about a quarter of the country’s economic output.
“The patents issue in the pharmaceuticals sector is likely to remain a negative factor, though against that, demand from the Euro zone and the UK for Irish goods should start to pick up now as these economies recover,” said Alan Mc Quaid, an economist at Merrion. He added that on the basis of the figures for the first eight months of the year, it looks as though Irish manufacturing output for 2013 will post a low single digit decline for the second year in a row.
Elsewhere in the European Union, the soon to be newest member of the Eurozone; Latvia saw industrial production fall by 3.5% in August. The decline was driven by a 2.5% fall in manufacturing output and a reduction in the production of electricity and gas supplies. Latvia will adopt the Euro as its currency at the start of 2014.
As the week draws to a close the Euro fell against the US Dollar as investors sold the currency in a bout of profit taking following its rise to an eight month high. Against Sterling the single currency strengthened on concerns that the UK economy isn’t recovering at a fast enough pace to warrant an early interest rate hike. The currency weakened against all of its major peers after economists said they believe the currency’s recent strength is likely to falter.
Euro (EUR) Exchange Rates
As of 15:00 pm
The Euro/US Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.3588 <
The Euro/Pound Sterling Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 0.8462 >
The Euro/Australian Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.4400 <
The Euro/ New Zealand Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.6358 <
The Euro/ Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.4031 <