DUBLIN (Reuters) - Rapid growth in Irish factory activity slowed to its lowest level in eight months but was still higher than any reading recorded before April and above a flash estimate for the euro zone as a whole, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The AIB IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 59.9 in November from 62.1 in October, having hit a record 64.1 in May. Readings above 50 indicate overall rises in activity.
Flash readings for the euro zone and neighbouring Britain were 58.6 and 58.2 respectively last month.
The Irish PMI had been above the 60 mark since April, having never previously passed that threshold, as the Irish economy emerged in rude health from a third lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The survey's authors said the data for the fourth quarter so far pointed to a slower expansion than in both the second and third quarters, but that the sector was still set to grow at a faster pace than in any three-month period before that.
Growth rates for new orders, employment, purchasing and output all eased from high levels, with the second-fastest input price inflation recorded since the series began in 1998 leading to a record increase in factory gate prices.
The authors said that while supply chains remained under severe pressure, there was evidence of less disruption last month compared to October.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Catherine Evans)