Monday 21 May 2018

Construction on the rise but growth in the capital's private sector eases

Performance of Dublin’s economy is 'broadly in line with the rest of the country'. Photo: Jordache
Performance of Dublin’s economy is 'broadly in line with the rest of the country'. Photo: Jordache
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Growth in Dublin's private sector eased to its slowest pace in three years in the three months to June, according to a gauge of the city's economy.

Construction firms in the capital registered a substantial rise in activity, and a sharp jump in services activity was also recorded, according to the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the capital compiled by financial information firm Markit, and commissioned by Dublin's local authorities.

But manufacturing continued to trail the other two sectors, despite a quickening pace of expansion.

Andrew Harker, senior economist at Markit, said Dublin's private sector remains comfortably in growth territory as we reach the middle of the year.

"That said, the rate of expansion continued to ease in Q2 and was the slowest for three years," Mr Harker said. "Strong increases in activity were again recorded in the services and construction sectors, with manufacturing underperforming somewhat. The latest data suggest that the performance of the capital's economy was broadly in line with the rest of the country."

Mr Harker said the future will in part depend on how the UK's decision to leave the EU affects Irish firms, with market uncertainty having the potential to disrupt operations and limit growth.

The Dublin PMI posted 57.6 in the second quarter, down from 59 in the first three months of the year. Anything above 50 signals expansion. Although comfortably in growth mode, it was the weakest level of expansion since the second quarter of 2013.

The PMI forms part of the so-called Dublin Economic Monitor. It also showed that Dublin's recovering economy has helped push the number of trips taken on the capital's public transport system to more than 50 million in the first three months of the year. That's the first time the threshold has been breached since the study, by DK Economic Consultants, first began in 2010.

The unemployment rate experienced a significant drop in the first three months of the year to 7pc, the lowest level since 2008.

Almost 616,000 Dublin residents are now employed, and this is the highest level since the third quarter of 2008.

Irish Independent

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