"Last month we outlined our belief that the outlook for Irish manufacturing firms remains positive, supported by the improving global backdrop", Mr O'Sullivan said.
Panellists reported weak demand both domestically and overseas, citing disappointing sales in nearby Asian economies.
IHS Markit noted that the rate of improvement was the slowest recorded for three months, as output across the region rose at the weakest rate since February. There was also further evidence that the pound's weakness was helping exports by making United Kingdom goods cheaper for overseas buyers.
India's manufacturing sector witnessed a sharp year-on-year decline in the January-March quarter of 2017, provisional GDP figures released by the government Wednesday showed.
It was a similarly positive picture in the United Kingdom, where the British manufacturing sector had its second fastest growth in nearly three years.
Japanese manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace in three months in May as new orders rose, prompting factories to ramp up production, a private survey showed on Thursday, adding to signs the economy is sustaining momentum in the second quarter. "Moreover, there was a renewed decline in new export orders". Furthermore, growth in new order books was also the slowest seen since the current upturn began in July 2016.
The upbeat survey will provide some support to those commentators that believe a strong manufacturing sector can offset some of the economic pain from a consumer spending slowdown this year.
IHS Markit said that costs for raw materials and finished goods also fell, cementing the view that the recent lift in producer price inflation is now well and truly over. Growth in new export business reached its highest level in seven years. Order backlogs increased at the fastest pace for 6 years which will underpin near-term production.