Construction sector ‘officially in recovery’

The Construction Industry Federation has said a 15.5% increase in construction activity in the last 12 months shows the sector is “officially in recovery”.

However, in spite of an identified shortage of houses in some parts of the country, there was a drop of 7.4% in the level of housing construction in the third quarter of 2013 compared with the previous quarter.

The figures are contained in the CSO’s latest Building and Construction Index. It found there has been a 16.6% rise in civil engineering activity and a 6.9% increase in non-residential building between the second and third quarters.

CIF director general Tom Parlon said: “This is the fifth consecutive quarter that the CSO have recorded an increase in volume of construction activity. Over the course of the calendar year, the level of construction activity in this country has grown by over 15%. That tallies with reports throughout the industry of increased levels of tenders and more on-site work taking place. There has been a marked increase in activity and confidence has been consistently improving. The overall numbers point to a growing industry.”

He said those facts, along with an increase in construction employment of 9,100 between Q1 2013 and Q3 2013, showed the construction sector on a national basis was officially in recovery.

“It should be noted the recovery is being more acutely felt in the urban parts of the country and the pick-up has not been felt nationwide. There is still work to be done to encourage construction activity in all parts of the country. It’s also clear not all sectors of the industry are following the general trend, with residential activity down in the latest report. Hopefully, demand for more housing in certain parts of the country will help boost residential construction activity.”


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