Manufacturing growth solidly in September as new orders posted their strongest performance since 2015.

However some firms pointed to weakening demand from the UK, the latest Investec Purchasing Managers' index shows.

Irish economic growth for 2017 and 2018 is forecast to be faster than it was a year ago, after the initial, muted impact from Britain's decision to leave the European Union. 

Business surveys have supported those forecasts. 

Investec's Purchasing Managers' index stood at 55.4 in September, down slightly from the two-year high of 56.1 a month earlier but still far above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction. 

The sub-index measuring new orders rose to a 26-month high of 58.5 from 57.7 but growth in exports, which contracted for the first time in three years ahead of last year's Brexit referendum, slowed slightly. 

"This strong outturn came in spite of slower growth in new export Orders, which some panellists attributed to the euro's strength against sterling and resultant impact on demand from UK customers," Investec Ireland's chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said. 

"Notwithstanding the increase in client demand, Irish manufacturing firms also eased the pace of hiring activity last month, with the employment component moderating to its weakest in the current 12 month sequence of expansion," Mr O'Sullivan added.