Business Irish

Sunday 21 January 2018

Sharpest fall in 16 months for construction industry

Photo: Thinkstock
Photo: Thinkstock

BUILDING activity fell at the sharpest rate for 16 months in September, according to new figures.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index showed the ongoing downturn in construction activity, with the index now at 40.1.

Any figure below 50 signals contraction in a given sector.

The increase in the rate of decline of total activity came after two months in which the pace of contraction had eased.

"The housing sector was particularly weak in September," said Simon Barry, Ulster Bank’s chief economist

"Not only is activity continuing to fall - as it has done for nearly five years now - but the pace of decrease reached its sharpest since January 2010.''.

In housing sector, activity index figure was 36.6, down from 45.1 in August.

"More broadly, a key ongoing headwind for the sector is the dearth of new business opportunities. Available work remains scarce, and new orders fell again in September,'' the economist added.

And new orders decreased in September, though the rate of contraction was the slightest in 13 months.

There was also a major decline in purchasing activity, with the pace of reduction the sharpest in six months.

The rate of reduction in staffing levels was also the fastest for three months.

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