Building industry rate of decline eases
A gauge of Ireland’s building industry fell at the slowest pace in five months in January amid optimism that the economy may improve in the coming year.
An index tracking construction improved to 36.1 last month, the highest since August, from 33.1 in December, Ulster Bank said in a report published today. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
Consumer confidence was little changed in December amid “tentative” signs the worst may be over, KBC Ireland said last month.
“The January survey picked up a clear improvement in optimism as respondents expressed an expectation that the wider economy will improve over the coming year,” Simon Barry, chief economist at Ulster Bank in Dublin, said in the report. “There was no indication of any improvement in employment dynamics.”
Optimism regarding future activity improved to its strongest in 31 months, the survey showed.
The measure of residential construction improved to 35.3 from 32.6, while commercial building rose to 36.8 from 32.3. The index for civil engineering was 34.8 in January, up from 33.8.