Business Irish

Saturday 1 October 2016

Construction starts 2016 strongly with seven-month high growth

Published 08/02/2016 | 07:38

Ulster Bank’s Simon Barry
Ulster Bank’s Simon Barry

Activity in the construction industry grew at its fastest pace in seven months in January, prompting businesses to take on more staff and increase their purchasing activity.

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According to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) the construction industry in Ireland experienced its strongest expansion since June of last year.

The headline reading for the PMI was 63.6, up significantly from the reading of 58.6 in December of last year.

Ulster Bank's chief economist for the Republic of Ireland, Simon Barry, says that the index represents a strong start to the year for the industry.

"Building on December’s solid improvement, a further significant increase in the headline PMI reading took it to 63.6 in January – its highest level since last June.

"The new orders and employment indices both also rose to seven-month highs in January indicating that the pace of overall activity, new business and hiring have all accelerated meaningfully in the early part of the New Year," Mr Barry said.

All three elements of the construction sector, commercial, residential, and civil engineering activity all benefited from a strong start to the year.

"Furthermore, the early-year improvement has been broadly based: respondents have reported stronger activity growth across all three sub-sectors of housing, commercial and civil engineering, with a particularly strong – and welcome – pick-up recorded in Housing where growth was the fastest since October 2014," Mr Barry said.

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