Construction activity accelerates

Irish constructors continued to record a strong rate of activity expansion in May, according to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index.

Irish constructors continued to record a strong rate of activity expansion in May, according to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index.

The index is a seasonally-adjusted index designed to measure the overall performance of the construction economy. Index readings above 50 signal an increase in activity on the previous month and reading below 50 signal a decrease.

The index suggests that the pace of growth picked up in May, rising to 58.1, from 57.2 in April.

More than 27% of firms indicated that activity had risen since the previous month, compared to less than 9% that noted a decline.

Anecdotal evidence suggested activity increased in response to growth of new business.

Chief Economist at Ulster Bank Pat McArdle said: "In broad terms, construction continues to expand at a pace equal to last year’s average. In May it bounced back from the slightly weaker readings in the previous two months.

"To date in 2006, civil engineering has expanded at a pace that is faster than in any of the preceding five years," he added.

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