Construction expands at fastest pace in five months

‘Welcome increase’ in housebuilding drives activity, Ulster Bank index finds

The rate of job creation also quickened in November, with construction employment increasing sharply during the month

The rate of job creation also quickened in November, with construction employment increasing sharply during the month

 

Construction activity increased sharply during November with the rate of growth accelerating, according to the latest purchasing managers’ index from Ulster Bank.

The seasonally adjusted index rose to 56.7 last month, up from 54.5 in October, pointing to the fastest rise in activity in five months, and extending a run of expansion to 51 months. Higher new orders was the main factor leading activity to rise.

“A welcome increase in housing activity saw it record the sharpest increase in activity, thus remaining the strongest performing category last month. Commercial activity also continued to grow strongly,” said Simon Barry, chief economist for Ulster Bank in the Republic of Ireland.

However, civil engineering activity contracted for the sixth consecutive month, while industry sentiment about future activity prospects edged lower in November.

“However, this is best seen as a modest retreat from exceptionally elevated levels as confidence levels remain solidly optimistic, with around half of all firms expecting activity to increase over the coming year,” said Mr Barry.

The rate of job creation also quickened in November, with construction employment increasing sharply during the month. Respondents indicated that staffing levels had been raised in line with higher activity and as part of efforts to meet deadlines.