Tuesday 17 September 2019

Construction activity rises at fastest pace for a year

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Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Growth in Irish construction activity accelerated again in May as firms continued to catch up from the weather disruption seen in March.

During the month the rate of growth seen in the sector was the fastest for a year, according to the latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index.

New business and input buying also rose at faster rates in May, while job creation remained strong.

"The latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey show that Irish construction firms experienced strong, and faster, rates of expansion in May," Simon Barry, chief economist at Ulster Bank, said.

"The headline PMI picked up for the second month in a row, with a highly elevated reading of 61.8 marking a year -high."

Activity in the sector has now risen in each of the past 57 months, with a number of panellists linking increases in activity to recent favourable weather conditions.

Both housing and commercial projects experienced a growth in activity, which matched the overall trend in accelerating for the second successive month in May. Both sub-categories posted substantial monthly increases in activity, with the rate of expansion slightly faster for commercial work.

In contrast, civil engineering activity decreased modestly in May, ending a five-month sequence of growth.

Looking forwards and Mr Barry said that survey respondents remained strongly optimistic about the year ahead with a strong pipeline of new activity and improving economic conditions cited as important sources of support.

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