New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that industrial manufacturing production rose by 8.1% in April compared to March.

On an annual basis, production increased by 4.7%.

The CSO said that the "modern sector" - which includes chemicals, pharmaceuticals, computers and electronic equipment - showed a monthly jump of 16.8% in April and an annual increase of 6.7%.

It noted that basic pharmaceutical products and preparations rose by by 31.7% in the month and 3.8% on a yearly basis.

Meanwhile, computer, electronic and optical products increased by 10.3% monthly and increased by 54.2% year on year.

Today's figures also show a monthly increase of 1.8% in the "Traditional" Sector for April and an annual decrease of 0.6% compared with April 2015.

This came on the back of currency movements ahead of the Brexit referendum in the UK - one of the country's main trading partners. 

Commenting on today's figures, Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said there had been worries about the drop in sterling against the euro this year and its potential negative impact on manufacturing exports, of which just under a half go to the UK. 

"Indeed, if "Brexit" were to happen, then the biggest losers would be the indigenous side, though we expect Britain to vote in the June 23 referendum to stay in the European Union", the economist stated.

He also said that while concerns remain about the underlying health of the global economy, particularly China, overall growth will hold up this year, particularly in the US and UK, which is good news for Ireland. 

"Only a very small amount of total Irish exports go to China, and the Irish PMI data remain in positive territory despite hitting the lowest level in almost three years in May. But the numbers are a reminder that Ireland isn’t immune to a slowdown in the world economy," he added.