Irish Construction Sector Slowed for a Third Consecutive Month - Construction Network Ireland - Construction Network Ireland

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Published in Construction on 11/09/2017

Irish Construction Sector Slowed for a Third Consecutive Month

#construction #PMI

CNI Editor reports

The construction sector continued to experience solid, though slightly slower, growth in August according to the latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey – a monthly barometer of activity. 

The headline PMI did ease for the third month running, in the process reaching its lowest level since March 2015. However, at 55.1, last month’s reading remains well above the 50 breakeven level and indicates that firms continue to report widespread expansion. That is notably the case in relation to both the Housing and Commercial sub-sectors, with a further sharp monthly increase in residential activity leaving Housing as the best-performing sector last month. 

However, civil engineering remains an area of weakness with respondents reporting a third consecutive monthly decline in activity. 

While the overall story remains one of continuing construction sector expansion, the latest PMI readings suggest that momentum behind the recovery has slipped a little – a trend that bears watching in the months ahead. 

One important reason not to be overly concerned about near-term prospects is the very healthy pattern of new orders that remains very much in place: the new orders index again showed strong growth in new business levels in August. And these gains in actual and prospective activity continue to underpin rapidly-rising demand for labour within the sector, with the employment index quickening for the second month running in August.  The August survey also featured an update of a special question we ran at the same time last year regarding firms’ views about the possible impact of Brexit.  As was the case last year, most (two-thirds of) firms see no change in activity over the coming year as a result of Brexit, with broadly similar proportions of respondents expecting activity to be boosted or reduced over the next 12 months.

The August survey also featured an update of a special question we ran at the same time last year regarding firms’ views about the possible impact of Brexit.  As was the case last year, most (two-thirds of) firms see no change in activity over the coming year as a result of Brexit, with broadly similar proportions of respondents expecting activity to be boosted or reduced over the next 12 months.