Wednesday 7 December 2016

Rate of construction growth slows in May

Published 13/06/2016 | 02:30

Simon Barry, Ulster Bank
Simon Barry, Ulster Bank

The pace of growth in Irish construction activity eased in May, but there was still a "marked increase" during the month, according to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index published this morning.

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The index dipped to 55.9 in May from 56.4 in April. Any figure over 50 indicates expansion.

The rate of expansion in May was the lowest since last November, but growth has now continued for each of the past 33 months.

New orders and work on housing projects helped to support construction activity in May.

"Although the rate of expansion eased slightly, it was still marked and above the pre-downturn average," said Simon Barry, chief economist for the Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank.

"A slowdown from the record rate of expansion seen in February was probably inevitable, but it would be reassuring to see some stabilisation in the growth rate in coming months."

Housing activity continued to rise sharply in May, but at a slightly slower pace than in the previous month.

The fastest increase of the three monitored categories was on commercial projects.

The rate of job creation accelerated slightly in May as firms responded to higher new orders by taking on extra staff.

Irish Independent

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