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Irish manufacturing expansion accelerates in August - PMI

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's manufacturing sector grew in August at its fastest pace in nine months and new orders climbed, a survey showed on Monday, adding to signs that the economy is rebounding from a downturn.

Ireland slipped into recession early this year, despite Europe holding it up as an example of austerity working, but recent indicators point to growth resuming as it prepares to complete an international bailout in 2013.

The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.0 in August from 51.0 in July, moving further above the 50 line dividing growth from contraction.

"Respondents cited increased demand from both domestic and overseas markets," Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said. "Today's release ... puts Q3 in the frame to be the strongest quarter in the year to date for Ireland's manufacturing sector."

Manufacturing accounts for about a quarter of Irish gross domestic product, according to World Bank figures.

The government is still targeting economic growth of 1.3 percent this year as it tries to cut one of the biggest budget deficits in Europe, but the central bank and analysts see slower expansion rates.

The subindex measuring new orders rose to 53.6 in August from 52.2 in July, marking the highest reading since July 2012, boding well for factory activity in the coming months.

(Reporting by Sam Cage; Editing by Hugh Lawson)