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Figures from the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) have been released, showing Irish construction is riding a year high with activity rising sharply over the last month.
With construction firms across the country looking to put weather disruption from ‘the Beast from the East’ behind them, the PMI® registered 61.8 in May, up from 60.7 in April.
Housing and commercial project growth led the charge in activity, with both industries posting considerable increases in consecutive months. New business and input buying also rose at faster rates, while job creation remained strong.
The growth in activity is now being seen over consecutive months, and is also accelerating at the fastest pace this year, leading to a secure confidence in the sector. Activity has now been on the rise for 57 months.
Commenting on the survey, Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, noted that: “The latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey show that Irish construction firms experienced strong, and faster, rates of expansion in May. The headline PMI picked up for the second month in a row, with a highly elevated reading of 61.8 marking a year-high. Commercial construction recorded another acceleration in activity which took the Commercial PMI to its highest level in nearly two years, in the process leaving commercial as the strongest performing activity category last month. There was also a sharp rise in residential activity which took the Housing PMI to its highest level in a year. The results for Civil Engineering were not as favourable, with activity here registering a decline in May, ending a five-month run of expansion.
“Other details from the survey also highlight the strength of the ongoing expansion in activity. Strong demand for the services of construction firms was very much evident in further substantial increases in new orders, with the New Orders index picking up to a year-high in May. In turn, the buoyancy of activity and new business trends remains a very important driver of job creation and input buying in construction, with growth in both categories remaining at very elevated rates. And survey respondents remained strongly optimistic about the year ahead with a strong pipeline of new activity and improving economic conditions cited as important sources of support.”
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