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Homebuilding up, confidence down in construction report


 (Stock image)

(Stock image)

(Stock image)

Homebuilding led Ireland's construction sector higher in August, according to today's monthly report from Ulster Bank.

The Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which tracks changes in activity, rebounded to 53.7 from July's six-year low of 51.4. Figures above 50 indicate growth.

Housing construction rose from 55.9 in July to 58.4 last month, commercial construction from 54.7 to 55.1. Contraction in civil engineering works dragged down the total index.

"However, there are reasons to maintain a somewhat cautious view about the sector's near-term prospects," said Ulster Bank chief economist Simon Barry, who noted that new orders suggest "the slowest pace of new business growth" since 2015.

The sentiment index measuring 12-month expectations fell to its lowest level since November 2010, though still barely in positive territory.

Mr Barry attributed this to "firms reporting that Brexit uncertainty is impacting work pipelines due to delayed decision-making among clients".

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