Construction activity accelerating

Construction activity in Ireland rose for the twenty-fourth consecutive month in August, according to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index.

Construction activity in Ireland rose for the twenty-fourth consecutive month in August, according to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index.

The seasonally-adjusted index designed to measure the overall health of the construction economy – pointed to the sharpest rate of increase since January.

Commenting on the survey, Pat McArdle, Chief Economist at Ulster Bank, noted that:

“Time was the builders took their annual holidays in August but … the PMI index registered its biggest monthly increase last month since the series began in mid-2000.

"All three components participated in the expansion with "commercial" continuing to lead the way. Housing was surprisingly strong on first glance. However there was also a bounce in Aug 04 so the overall picture may not have changed much.

"Civil engineering bounced back into positive territory in August, but was still flat in the first eight months, leaving it the weakest sector by a considerable distance. Overall, the construction industry remains in robust good health with orders and employment growing strongly and confidence high.”

Higher underlying demand and efforts to stimulate sales by lowering prices meant that volumes of new orders received by Irish construction companies rose at their fastest rate in seven months during August.

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