Saturday 20 January 2018

Building sector moves closer to stabilisation as decline eases

The construction sector is still in decline but at the slowest pace in two years.

Although activity is increasing in the house-building and commercial segments, civil engineering remains in sharp decline.

Figures for August show the building sector is finally moving closer to stabilisation, helped by a pick-up in new business, according to Ulster Bank economist Simon Barry.

Key measures including the number of people employed and purchasing activity continued to fall, however, according to Ulster Bank's purchasing managers index (PMI) for the the sector.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures activity on a standardised gauge, rose for the fourth consecutive month in August, posting 49.7 from 47.5 in July.

Any reading under 50 indicates a decline in activity. A reading above 50 measures growth.

Activity on residential properties increased in August and in July, the first back-to-back increase since 2006.

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