Construction industry declines again -- but at a slower pace
THE construction industry has now declined for the 34th month in a row, but the rate of contraction is slowing, according to the latest Ulster Bank Purchasing Managers' Index.
While the level of construction activity fell, it was the smallest fall since October 2007, said the bank. The sector will expand again when the index reaches 50, but it stood at just 42.3 in March.
"While the construction sector is lagging behind manufacturing and services, which are both now in the process of stabilising, at least the rate of contraction does look to be easing back,'' said chief economist with Ulster Bank Simon Barry.
One of the few bright spots for the industry is that new orders are starting to rise and construction firms believe the industry will stabilise one year from now.
As workloads continued to fall during March, jobs were cut further and at a considerable pace.
Demand for building materials continues to fall and competition remains intense.