Simon Barry, chief economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said the latest PMI survey showed that after a weather-related slowdown in March, the headline PMI picked back up to a very elevated reading of 60.7 in April.

“There was a very sharp acceleration in commercial activity which took the Commercial PMI to its highest level since last May, in the process leaving commercial as the strongest performing activity category last month,” Mr Barry noted.

“But the improvement was broadly-based, with the pace of growth in housing activity also picking up to an 11-month high, while civil engineering recorded a fifth consecutive month of expansion, albeit at a somewhat slower pace in April,” he added.

Mr Barry said that while sentiment among firms about the sector’s prospects over the coming 12 months moderated slightly in April, it still remains at elevated levels.

“58% of respondents anticipate higher output levels over the year ahead, reflecting expectations for healthy construction demand in general and within the residential sector in particular,” he added.