Retailers and manufacturers quietly optimistic about 2014
For many people the new year represents a chance to start afresh, but going by recent reports, the Irish manufacturing sector will be happy to maintain the significant progress it’s made of late.
That’s because the sector recorded further growth in December – the seventh month in succession. The latest Investec purchasing managers index (PMI) show that the monthly index rose to 53.5 in December from 52.4 in November.
The continued growth has been attributed to a spike in demand from the US, UK and China. According to Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O’Sullivan the ‘positive momentum in the manufacturing sector in H2 2013 is likely to persist into the new year.’
Elsewhere, Retail Ireland has predicted that 2014 will see a 1.3 per cent rise in consumer spending – the first increase since the start of the recession.
‘The recovery in the sector is fragile and Government must ensure that no extra costs or unnecessary regulations are imposed as recovery takes hold,’ said Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam. ‘Keeping costs under control is essential if we are to create new jobs. At the height of the boom many costs, including wages, spiralled out of control, we cannot allow this to happen again. Many retailers remain in survival mode and pay expectations need to reflect economic realities.’