DUBLIN, June 1 (Reuters) - Irish manufacturing growth cooled in May as supply issues pushed input costs to a near-record high and higher prices dampened client appetite, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The AIB S&P Global manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 56.4 from 59.1 in April. Any figure above 50.0 indicates an improvement in manufacturing conditions, but the rate of improvement was the slowest since February last year.
AIB's chief economist Oliver Mangan said there was a clear easing in growth momentum from the elevated levels of the past year, but the drop was in line with the wider euro zone and UK where flash PMIs for May fell to 54.4 and 54.6, respectively.
He said order growth slowed, and backlogs of work at Irish manufacturing firms declined for the first time in 15 months. Some respondents said that rising prices were weighing on demand.
"Input prices rose at their second-fastest pace on record, with marked increases in raw materials, energy and fuel costs," Mangan said. "Faced with surging input prices, manufacturers raised their own prices by a survey-record degree for a third successive month."
Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by Catherine Evans