Wednesday 23 October 2019

House building hits back from 'deceleration period'


Simon Barry, chief economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank
Simon Barry, chief economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank

David Chance

Housing activity hit a three-month high in November as the construction industry marked its 63rd month of expansion, according to Ulster Bank.

"The rate of overall expansion picked up from October's over three-and-a-half-year low as the headline index rose from 52.9 in October to 55.5 in November, in the process halting a three-month sequence of deceleration from the exceptionally rapid growth recorded in the summer," said Simon Barry, chief economist Republic of Ireland at the bank.

Housing was the strongest performer in the survey - the reading for the sector surged to 58.2 in November from 53.6 in October - followed by commercial activity, whose reading rose to 57.5 from 53.9.

"Encouragingly, respondents also reported a marked pick-up in new business flows, with the new orders index rising to a very elevated reading - and five-month high - of 59.1 in November," said Mr Barry.

"In turn, strong activity and new orders patterns continue to underpin robust demand for construction workers, though the pace of job creation eased slightly in November."

Data last week from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the unemployment rate dipped to 5.3pc in November, close to the level that economists believe is "full employment", where demands for workers starts to push through into higher wages.

Weekly wages in the construction sector rose 5.2pc from a year earlier to €777.60 in the third quarter, according to the CSO.

Irish Independent

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