Index shows five-month peak for the construction sector in December

Index shows five-month peak for the construction sector in December

Growth in Ireland's construction sector picked up in December according to the latest Ulster Bank purchasing managers' index.

The main index rose to 58.6 - up from 55.5 in November. Any value over 50 indicates growth.

Activity in Ireland's construction sector has now increased in each of the past 28 months - December's figures were the strongest since July.

There has been a spike in new orders, and the rate of job growth also increased.

Ulster Bank's chief economist Simon Barry says that the sector ended 2015 "on a firm footing."

"Overall activity trends were buoyed by a strong acceleration in both commercial and housing activity, with the pick-up in the residential arena a particularly welcome development given concerns about the housing supply shortfall.

"Growth in civil engineering continues to lag some way behind the other sectors though it did record a fourth consecutive month of expansion last month," Mr Barry added.

Optimism also remained strong in the sector at the beginning of 2016.

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