New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that manufacturing production rose by 2.5% in April from March.

The CSO said that on an annual basis, production last month rose by 11.9% compared to the same month last year.

The modern sector, which includes high technology and chemical sectors, reported a monthly increase in production of 1.7%, Production in the traditional sector grew by 0.5% on the back of an improvement in the UK economy and recovery in sterling.

Today's figures show that the seasonally adjusted volume of industrial production for the three months from February to April was 7.7% higher than the previous three month period.

Commenting on today's figures, Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said that despite the overall pick-up in output on the indigenous side in recent months, manufacturing growth in the short-term is expected to be mainly driven by industries under the "modern" or multi-national umbrella. 

"The patents issue related to the pharmaceuticals sector is likely to remain a drag for some time to come, though against that, demand from the euro zone and the UK for Irish goods should start to pick up now as these economies recover," Mr McQuaid said.

The economist said that after a "weather-affected sluggish start to 2014", the indications now are that major developed economies are in the main finding their feet again, which points to increased global demand going forward.

"In our view, Ireland is better placed than most to take advantage of that, though remaining competitive is vital," he added.