Growth of construction activity accelerates in Ireland
Staff Writer | May 16, 2017
The housing category in Ireland posted the fastest expansion of the three monitored areas of construction in April as the rate of growth ticked up.
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Commercial activity also increased sharply, while civil engineering posted a first expansion in activity since September last year.
That said, the rise was only slight.
Stronger demand was also reportedly a key factor behind a further increase in new orders.
The rate of expansion quickened markedly from that seen in March and was the strongest in six months.
The rate of job creation in the Irish construction sector also picked up at the start of the second quarter as increases in both current workloads and future activity requirements encouraged firms to take on extra staff.
Employment has now risen in 44 successive months. Increased demand and a subsequent rise in workloads led to a record rise in purchasing activity among Irish construction firms in April, surpassing the previous record seen in November 2004.
This strong demand for inputs placed pressure on suppliers to the construction sector, resulting in a marked lengthening of delivery times.
In fact, the deterioration in vendor performance was the strongest since February 2016.
The rate of input cost inflation in the construction sector eased slightly during April, but remained substantial and above the series average.
A number of panellists reported higher prices for metals such as aluminium, copper and steel.
Confidence remained elevated, with nearly 60% of respondents predicting a rise in construction activity over the coming year.
Improving economic conditions and particular strength in the housing sector were seen as being the main reasons for optimism. ■ What to read next
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