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Building in doldrums

FORFAS, the State enterprise policy advisory board, is calling for a stronger construction sector.

According to its projections, construction would "continue at well below optimum performance" in the absence of action to accelerate a return to sustainable levels of output.

In a strategy report published yesterday, the agency set out an optimum scenario of sustainable output from the sector over the medium term at 12pc of GNP.

It said that this compared with a current output of 6.4pc, down from the peak of 25pc of GNP in 2006/7.