Three reports prepared by Markit for NCB Stockbrokers (NCB Republic of Ireland Manufacturing PMI, NCB Republic of Ireland Services PMI) and Ulster Bank (Ulster Bank Construction PMI Report (RoI)) have been released in the last couple of days.  They show that outputs in the manufacturing, services and construction  fell during Dec 2009.   With respect to manufacturing, output fell marginally, new business rose for second month running, and jobs were lost for the twenty-fifth successive month.  Services experienced weaker decline in activity and new business, a sharp drop in jobs, and input costs continued to fall.  Construction activity declined for the thirty-first consecutive month with increased job losses and reduced purchasing activity, and there is evidence that new work is insufficient to compensate for the completion of existing projects.  All fairly gloomy stuff, with predictions for much of the same throughout the year.

Rob Kitchin