Construction activity up again in September

Construction activity in Ireland rose for the twenty-fifth successive month in September, according Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index.

Construction activity in Ireland rose for the twenty-fifth successive month in September, according Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index.

Despite slipping slightly from August's seven-month high to 59.9, the index remained well above the critical no-change value of 50.0 to indicate a marked expansion of the Irish construction economy.

The Construction Purchasing Managers' Index is a seasonally adjusted index designed to measure the overall performance of the construction economy.

Chief Economist at Ulster Bank Pat McArdle said: "After the very strong August bounce, it is not surprising that the construction industry reported a more subdued September, as costs rose sharply, new orders eased back and confidence hit a 22-month low.

"The fall in the housing indicator was very dramatic, but we are not inclined to read too much into it at this stage given that such sharp movements are frequently reversed.

"Civil engineering has finally moved into positive territory but with only three months left in 2005, it has a lot of catching-up to do and, overall, it looks like this sector will be weaker than it was last year.

"With housing reports somewhat erratic, the running is being made by commercial construction, which is booming after a few weak years, thereby ensuring that the industry as a whole is having another good year."

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