Irish Construction: Slowest fall in activity since December 2011

Irish Construction: The construction sector moved closer to stabilisation in August amid further growth of new business. The sample here is likely to have been small as it hasn’t been disclosed by Markit.

While employment and purchasing activity continued to fall, rates of decline eased in each case and business optimism improved to the strongest since January 2007. Meanwhile, input prices decreased for the first time in just over a year. The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – – a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity – – rose for the fourth consecutive month in August, posting 49.7 from 47.5 in July. The reading signalled a marginal fall in construction activity that was the slowest in 20 months.

Simon Barry, chief economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said:: “The August results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey offered further encouragement on trends in the Irish construction sector, which continues to show signs of stabilising. Most notably, the New Orders index posted another above-50 reading last month, thus pointing to a second consecutive monthly rise in new business levels. And the improvements in orders have now begun to foster increases in activity levels in both the Housing and Commercial sub-sectors – the first time in almost six years that two areas of the construction sector have experienced rising activity in the same month.