Irish manufacturing activity grew at a faster rate in February after new orders increased for the first time since last May, further boosting confidence in the sector.
The AIB S&P Global manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.3 last month from 50.1 in January, having briefly dropped under the 50 mark which separates expansion from contraction in November and December.
The figures show Irish factories and the wider economy have proven more resilient to the cost-of-living crisis than previously anticipated.
The return to growth levels seen in the third quarter of last year compared to January flash readings of 48.5 and 49.2 for the euro zone and the UK.
The survey's authors said the upturn in new orders in Ireland last month was linked to a relative strengthening in underlying demand conditions and that a separate measure of confidence in the sector was the most pronounced in a year.
The rates of input cost and output price inflation also fell to 26-month and 23-month lows respectively.
Last week, Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said inflation is expected to average between 4 and 5 per cent across 2023, lower than initially thought, with a flatlining domestic economy set to return to growth from the second quarter of this year. -Reuters