The construction industry has achieved its first year of growth since the start of the recession.
Following another sharp expansion in August, activity in the construction sector has now increased in each month throughout the past year.
Growth last month was boosted by a steep rise in new orders, Ulster Bank's August Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) found. PMIs are closely watched indicators of a sector's health. Its headline reading was 61.4; anything over 50 indicates expansion. Companies were strongly optimistic that activity will continue to increase over the coming year, the bank said.
Employment also rose for the twelfth month in a row.
"The solid trends in new business are translating into higher staffing levels," said Ulster Bank chief economist Simon Barry.