The Irish construction sector remained in decline in March, according to latest data published today, marking the 57th consecutive month of falling activity.
The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index for the month showed the amount of new business was largely unchanged, while cost inflation accelerated.
However, the report also recorded a growing optimism amongst businesses.
Chief Economist with Ulster Bank in Ireland, Simon Barry, said the report showed some signs of stabilisation in the sector.
"If we look at the New Orders index, that has been hovering around the break even level of the index, which means it is not far from a situation where new orders have stopped declining," he said.
"The fact that the trend… has become much less negative, means that we are possibly in the final stages of the construction downturn."