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Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Construction sector growth scales 2006 peaks

Employment and growth back on the menu for builders, albeit from a low base.
Apr 14th 2014, 9:52 AM 9,578 38

GROWTH IN THE construction sector is healthier than it has been in eight years, new figures published this morning by Ulster Bank show.

Statistics gathered by the bank for March show that the rate of growth in the Irish construction industry increased last month, having an overall positive affect on the figures for the first quarter of the year.

The construction purchasing managers index (PMI) stands at 60.2 compared to 56.2 during February, posting a seventh successive monthly increase. The rate of expansion is at its sharpest since January 2006.

Ulster Bank chief economist Simon Barry said: “(There) was a further strong increase in new orders last month which suggest that near-term prospects for a continued strengthening of the sector’s recovery are healthy.”

Jobs growth, but from a low base

Barry said that employment in the sector also rose for the seventh month in a row, but cautioned that the figures are coming off a low base following the “severe job-shedding” which occurred during the downturn.

The strongest growth was recorded in the housing and commercial construction sector, while the rate of decline in civil engineering activity slowed for the second month running.

Dublin city has 300 vacant sites despite needing over 37,000 housing units>

Construction climbs 11.5 per cent in 2013>

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Jack Horgan-Jones

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