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Economy in Brief

Irish Industrial Production: A Slowdown in the "Modern Sector"
by Louise Curley June 13, 2005

Total Industrial production in Ireland rose 2.9% in April from March while production in manufacturing rose 4.6%.

In addition to the usual industry and market sector breakdowns of total production, Ireland also classifies production between modern industries and traditional industries. The latter are included in the category, "All sectors excluding modern sector". The modern sector includes production of recorded media, chemicals including man-made fibers, computers and instrument engineering, and electric machinery and equipment.

The "Modern" sector has accounted for most of the growth in production over the past several years which has made Ireland one of the better performers among countries of the Euro Zone performers. As can be seen in the attached chart showing the ten year record of production of the modern and traditional sectors, the traditional sector has been virtually flat while the modern sector has risen rapidly.

Now, however, despite the sharp increase in the production of the modern sector in April, the chart also shows that the trend of production in this sector has been flat to negative since early 2003.

Ireland Apr 05 Mar 05 Apr 04 Y/Y%  2004    2003  2002
Total 121.36 117.93 129.60 -6.36 125.08 124.45 118.40
Manufacturing 121.08 115.79 129.50 -6.43 124.47 124.23 118.57
Modern 130.57 125.44 141.70 -7.85 136.00 136.82 128.76
Total excluding modern 105.43 103.77 108.90 -3.19 107.82 104.77 101.72
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