Irish construction activity falls for 39th consecutive month

August data indicated that overall operating conditions in the Irish construction sector continued to deteriorate during the month, despite a marginal increase in new business.

Activity and employment both fell further, extending the current periods of decline to 39 and 40 months respectively.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) - a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity - remained below the no-change mark of 50.0 in August, signalling a further reduction of activity in the sector.

However, the reading of 48.4 - up from 45.0 in July - indicated that the rate of contraction was the weakest in the current sequence, which began in June 2007.

According to respondents, lower activity reflected continued uncertainty among clients.

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