Boost in activity for construction sector
Activity in the construction sector is expanding at a "sharp and accelerated" rate according to the latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).
Both housing and commercial construction posted stronger rises in activity during the last month, with activity on residential projects increasing sharply for the second month in a row. Survey respondents cited improving economic conditions and strong client demand.
"Irish construction activity continues to grow at a robust pace," said Simon Barry, chief economist at Ulster Bank.
"The pace of activity growth picked up last month as the headline PMI rose to 57.9 in February from 55.7 in January, consistent with further rapid expansion and interrupting a three-month sequence in which growth had eased modestly. There was a very encouraging acceleration in residential activity which took the Housing PMI back to levels last seen in November, in the process keeping housing as the strongest performing activity category last month. The pace of growth in commercial activity also accelerated in February and remains sharp".
Ulster Bank says the PMI results so far this year suggest the sector is sustaining strong growth momentum through the early months of 2017.