Index slows slight slowing in construction growth

Index slows slight slowing in construction growth

The latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey show that the construction sector continued to grow, though slightly slower, in September.

The index stood at 56.2 last month, its lowest level in nearly a year, down from 58.3 in August.

Those panellists that did see a rise in activity indicated that this reflected higher new orders.

The end of the third quarter of 2018 saw further marked growth in the Irish construction sector. Activity rose at a weaker pace than in August, but the rate of expansion in new orders accelerated.

Companies also continued to increase their purchasing activity and staffing levels.

Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said: "The latest reading remains well above the 50 breakeven level and indicates that firms continue to report robust gains in activity.

"The Commercial PMI picked up slightly from what was already an elevated reading in August, in the process leaving commercial as the strongest performing activity category last month.

"The Housing PMI also continues to point to robust activity growth in the residential sector, although a second decline in a row left the PMI at an 11-month low. Civil engineering remains an area of relative weakness with activity here registering a decline in September, ending a two-month run of expansion.

“Encouragingly, survey respondents mentioned that improving customer demand supported another strong, and faster, increase in incoming new business flows.

"In turn, robust activity and new orders patterns continue to underpin strong demand for construction workers, with the pace of job creation remaining steady in September at very healthy rates. Sentiment among firms about the sector’s prospects over the coming twelve months moderated slightly in September but remains at elevated levels. 55% of respondents anticipate higher output levels over the year ahead, with expectations of improved market conditions and higher new orders cited as important sources of support. ”

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