DUBLIN(Reuters) - Irish factory activity expanded in July at a slightly slower pace than the previous month as higher prices for fuel, oil and plastics squeezed profitability and led to higher output prices, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index edged down to 56.3 from 56.6 in June but was comfortably above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction for the 61st month in a row.
The sub-index measuring output prices climbed to 53.2 from 51.6 in June.
"We note an acceleration in the rate of growth in input cost inflation, which panellists attributed to higher prices for fuel, oil and plastics in the main," said Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan.
"Firms responded to all of this by raising output prices, although this (combined with volume growth) failed to prevent a sixth successive decline in the profitability index," O'Sullivan said.
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(Reporting by Graham Fahy, editing by Padraic Halpin; email@example.com; +353 1 500 1504; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org)