Manufacturing growth ticked up in May as the rate of new orders accelerated sharply, a survey showed today. 

Investec's Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 55.4 from 55.3 in April.

In March, manufacturing slowed to a 12-month low after the country's worst weather for decades shut down the economy for days. 

The index held above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction for the 60th month in a row, as the rate of new order growth accelerated, leading to increases in output and employment. 

"A key positive from the latest survey was a marked acceleration in the rate of growth in new business, which rose at its fastest pace since January amid stronger demand from both home and abroad," Investec Ireland's chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said. 

The sub-index measuring new orders shot up to 57.2 from 53.8 a month earlier. 

However, the report also showed that inflationary pressures remain high for Irish manufacturers, with rising prices for oil, plastics and metal driving up input costs. 

"Notwithstanding this margin pressure, firms remain very upbeat on their prospects, with close to three-fifths of panellists expecting to see a rise in output over the coming 12 months," Mr O'Sullivan said.