Fragile confidence and weak economy the cause of fall in activity


Activity in the construction sector declined markedly in April, with the monthly fall being the sharpest recorded since October 2011. Fragile client confidence led to falling workloads and reductions in both employment and buying activity, the Ulster Bank construction purchasing managers’ index figures show.

The seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity fell to 45.4 in April from 46.7 in March. Readings above 50 indicate an increase in activity and below 50 indicate a decrease.

Panellists reported weak economic conditions and a lack of confidence among clients as the cause of the reduced activity.

The figures show that the construction sector remains among the weakest in the Irish economy, according to Simon Barry, chief economist with Ulster Bank.