Construction sector growth close to record highs

Expansion in June 2015 the fastest since November 2004, says Ulster Bank index

Busy skyline:      latest construction figures offer ‘considerable encouragement’.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Busy skyline: latest construction figures offer ‘considerable encouragement’. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Ireland’s construction sector expanded in June at the fastest rate since November 2004. Activity increased at the second-fastest rate in the 15-year history of the Ulster Bank purchasing managers’ index for the sector, with an overall reading of 65.7.

Any reading above 50 indicates expansion, while readings below that figure point to contraction.

There was a strong rise in new business and improved market confidence, according to Ulster Bank economist Simon Barry driving additional hiring in the sector.

“Exceptionally strong performances were recorded in housing and commercial activity, where, in each case, growth was close to the record highs seen in the second half of last year,” said Mr Barry.

Civil engineering activity, which was the last part of the sector to return to growth, expanded for the third straight month,

“Overall, following a notable slowdown in the early months of the year, there has been a marked re-acceleration in the pace of construction activity through the second quarter, offering considerable encouragement regarding the sector’s momentum as we enter the second half of the year,” said Mr Barry.