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Roundup-Irish Man. grows for 9 months

Monday, December 03 08:58:15

Irish manufacturing activity grew for the ninth straight month in November, and at the fastest pace since July, a survey showed today. The country's services sector grew at the fastest pace in five years in October, and today's manufacturing data add to signs that the economy is proving resilient to the downturn among its main trading partners in Europe. Ireland was the only euro zone country to show manufacturing growth in October.

The NCB Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 52.4 in November from 52.1 a month earlier. "The positive trends we have noted for some time have continued into November," said Philip O'Sullivan, chief economist at NCB Stockbrokers. "New export orders are in positive territory for a second month in a row. This has been supported by new product launches and order wins from the likes of China, the US and the UK," he added. "One headwind for firms is the mismatch between input prices, which are under upward pressure from energy costs, and output prices, which slipped back into negative territory after improving in the previous two months." The Irish Times

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The first independent purpose-built distillery for a new whiskey in more than 200 years in Ireland has begun distilling in Dingle, Co Kerry. The Dingle Whiskey Distillery began production of gin and vodka at the site of the old sawmill in October, and whiskey production has now followed.

It is the latest venture by the Porterhouse Brewing Company, Ireland's largest independent brewery, which pioneered craft brewing here. The project has been in development for the past three years. For the Dingle community it means the creation of up to 20 jobs at the distillery and at the eventual visitors' centre. The Irish Times

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Four out of 10 firms expect to give staff a pay rise next year, and just three out of every 100 managers are anticipating cutting wages, according to a survey by employers' group IBEC. It's a rare piece of good news for the vast majority of workers, who can now expect pay to be unchanged or higher at the end of next year. However, IBEC warned that wages here are still 16pc above the eurozone average, and said that any increases must be sustainable.

The results of the pay survey published today found that 39pc of employers expect to increase basic pay rates in 2013, while 58pc will freeze rates and just 3pc of employers plan to reduce staff pay. The expected increases are linked to improvements in productivity. The findings are based on a survey of 370 companies. "Pay expectations need to reflect economic realities. Most employers are still not in a position to award general pay increases and remain focused on regaining competitiveness and getting pay costs back in to line with our competitors," said IBEC director Brendan McGinty. The Irish Independent

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Some of Ireland's smartest entrepreneurs and shrewdest business leaders have put their minds to the task of coming up with one good suggestion each for this week's Budget that could help to get our country moving again. MICHAEL Noonan and his mandarins are clearly utterly bereft of any smart ideas for Das Budget on Wednesday. The only thing on their minds is to cut and cut some more. More tired thinking from an already jaded government.

We asked some of the country's smartest entrepreneurs and shrewdest business leaders to each come up with one good idea for how to kickstart the dying economy in the upcoming Budget. Revolutionary ideas such as a flat tax on everything to a new deal for start-ups or further incentives for trading with the BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China, are among the fresh approaches suggested. The Irish Independent