Activity in Irish construction sector rises at fastest pace for a year

There has been increased growth in the Irish construction industry again in May, latest figures show.

New business and input buying also rose at faster rates, while job creation remained strong, according to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

This index, which tracks changes in total construction activity, shows that rates increased to 61.8 in May, up from 60.7 in April.

This rate growth was the fastest for a year, and marks the 57th consecutive month of positive increases in activity in the sector.

Commenting on the survey, Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said:

“The latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey show that Irish construction firms experienced strong, and faster, rates of expansion in May.

''Commercial construction recorded another acceleration in activity which took the Commercial PMI to its highest level in nearly two years, in the process leaving commercial as the strongest performing activity category last month. There was also a sharp rise in residential activity which took the Housing PMI to its highest level in a year.

As was the case with construction activity, new orders increased sharply during May, and at the steepest pace in 12 months. Respondents to the survey indicated that improvements in both weather and business conditions helped them to secure greater volumes of new work.

''Strong demand for the services of construction firms was very much evident in further substantial increases in new orders, with the New Orders index picking up to a year-high in May,'' said Mr Barry.

''In turn, the buoyancy of activity and new business trends remains a very important driver of job creation and input buying in construction, with growth in both categories remaining at very elevated rates.''

Those working in the construction industry expressed optimism that there would be further positive activity over the next year.

''Survey respondents remained strongly optimistic about the year ahead with a strong pipeline of new activity and improving economic conditions cited as important sources of support,'' Mr Barry said.

- Digital Desk

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