Construction to generate almost €20bn in economic activity this year
Aecom report predicts a 14% increase in output value to €19.5 billion for 2018
Aecom said that work started on 4,055 new homes in the first eight months of 2017, a 25 per cent increase “from a very low base2 during the same period in 2016. Photograph: iStock
The Republic’s building industry will generate close to €20 billion in economic activity this year, according to engineers Aecom.
The global infrastructure consultancy published a review of construction on Friday showing that the industry here grew 18 per cent in 2017.
“Output value is expected to increase by a further 14 per cent to approximately €19.5 billion in 2018,” Aecom added.
Figures published by the firm showed that construction in Northern Ireland grew 11.6 per cent last year.
Dublin’s commercial market continued to strengthen through 2017, while there was also increased activity beyond the capital, Aecom says.
“The residential sector, which historically has been the key driver of output, has been struggling to respond to the housing crisis,” the firm noted.
Aecom said that work started on 4,055 new homes in the first eight months of 2017, a 25 per cent increase “from a very low base” during the same period in 2016.
The consultancy noted that the private sector is beginning to tackle a shortage of grade A office space in Belfast.
“One of the biggest and most exciting redevelopment schemes expected to come to market in 2018 is the £400 million (€456 million) Sirocco site in east Belfast,” Aecom said.
The site comprises more than 16 undeveloped acres, with proposals for offices, shops and new homes in Belfast city centre.
The company’s report questions whether the Republic’s Government can reach its target of increasing spending on State-funded building projects by 18.5 per cent.
“The pace of development of public infrastructure is likely to continue to be hindered by a lack of internal resources, a challenging planning process, inappropriate procurement routes and time consuming approvals structures,” Aecom said.