Irish

Thursday 24 July 2014

Construction sector posts 10th straight month of expansion

Published 14/07/2014|00:00

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THE construction sector continued to expand at a breakneck pace in June, as the turnaround in the industry showed few signs of slowing down.

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The latest construction purchasing managers' index (PMI) from Ulster Bank came in at 59.9 in June. That is marginally down on the previous month's figure but it is still the 10th consecutive month that activity in the sector has grown.

A figure over 50 shows activity is growing, under 50 means the sector is contracting.

Ulster Bank's chief economist for the Republic Simon Barry said the figures were "robust".

"The results of the June survey confirm that activity trends in Irish construction firms remained robust at the end of the second quarter," he said.

"The headline PMI eased back a touch last month but still remains at a very elevated level, consistent with ongoing solid improvement in the sector, albeit from the very depressed levels reached in the downturn.

"The June survey affirmed that housing and commercial activity remain areas of particular strength as each sub-sector registered further rapid rises in activity.

The residential sector was the best-performing of the three monitored construction categories in June, with activity on housing projects increasing at a substantial and accelerated pace. Commercial activity continued to rise markedly, albeit at a slower rate than in the previous month. Meanwhile, a solid decline in civil engineering activity was recorded, with the pace of reduction faster than that seen in May.

For the year, near-term prospects for the Irish construction sector continue to look favorable, with few negative indicators, said Mr Barry.

"The strong trends in activity and new business continue to underpin job creation in the sector as staffing levels were raised for the tenth month in a row in June," he added.

Irish Independent

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