EAMON QUINN: Ireland’s construction output projected to grow 28%

Ireland’s construction output will increase for the next three years by 28%, the second fastest in Europe, as home building picks up pace, according to new industry forecasts, writes Eamon Quinn.

The closely-watched Euroconstruct forecasts also show the average growth for 19 countries, which includes most of the eurozone, as well as the UK and Norway, will grow by an average 3.5% this year. That is the strongest growth since before the debt crisis of over a decade ago.

“Construction demand also picked up this year in all 19 Euroconstruct member countries, with residential construction currently providing the strongest stimuli,” said Germany’s Ifo, a Euroconstruct research member.

“This situation is expected to continue, with construction volume set to grow by a total of 6% through 2020,” it said.

Irish activity will expand 15% this year and post growth of 28% through 2020, the research projects.

“In the three-year growth projections, Hungary is once again followed by Ireland (28%); Poland (25%); the Czech Republic and Portugal (15% each),” Ifo said.

“The European construction sector has been on a growth path since 2014. Construction output has increased by a total of 9% over the four year period from 2014 to 2017,” it said.

Survey data also suggest that the eurozone economy is gathering pace. Companies across the eurozone boosted hiring at the fastest pace in 17 years to work through their backlog of orders, according to the November IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for manufacturing and services.

Confidence in France surged to the highest in almost a decade, while a gauge for manufacturing in Germany surged to its best reading since early 2011.

“There are no signs of stopping the eurozone economy at the moment and 2018 is likely to start on a strong footing,” said ING Bank.

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