Irish manufacturing grew robustly again in September, marking the 15th month in a row that the sector was in positive territory.

Investec’s monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), fell slightly to 55.7 from a 15-year high of 57.3 in August. Any reading above 50 signifies growth in activity. Investec said that there was anecdotal evidence that manufacturers had taken on extra staff in September, up for the 16th consecutive month.

“One notable highlight within the report is the employment index, which indicates that manufacturing firms added to headcounts for a 16th successive month,” said Investec chief economist Philip O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan said that the survey revealed some interesting pricing trends during the month with input prices falling sharply. This, he said, was partly due to sanctions in Russia which has led to excess supplies of some goods.

“The extent of the drop in input prices was the largest seen in close to five years,” he said. “Output prices also fell sharply during September, as firms passed on savings from both Russia-related factors and the slide in world dairy prices to end customers.”

O’Sullivan said that he expects that the Irish manufacturing sector will perform strongly into next year.