CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY GROWTH QUICKENS IN APRIL

At 56.6 in April, up from 55.9 in March, the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) – a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity – signalled a sharp expansion of Irish construction activity. Moreover, April marked the sixty-eighth consecutive month of greater construction activity in Ireland.

Commenting on the survey, Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, noted that:

“Irish construction firms have made a strong start to the second quarter of the year, according to the April results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI. The headline PMI index rose modestly last month, consistent with an acceleration in the pace of overall activity growth from what was already a very solid pace in March. Furthermore, Housing activity was again (and for the fourth month in a row) the strongest performing sub-sector as growth in residential activity continues to show welcome signs of rapid expansion, at similar rates to those reported in 2018.


“The latest results also point to a reacceleration in New Orders growth, with new business levels continuing to rise sharply, underpinned by ongoing increases in the demand for construction work. That said, negative Brexit uncertainty effects on customers were identified by some firms who noted lower demand in the April survey. Moreover, Brexit was also cited as a factor behind the sharpest rise in purchasing activity since last June, as some firms stated that they had brought forward input purchases in order to mitigate any potential supply issues resulting from Brexit. Nevertheless, the April PMIs indicate that construction remains the fastest-growing major sector of the economy, with growth continuing to outpace that reported in both manufacturing and services where international risks and headwinds, including those linked to Brexit, represent more of a challenge.”

At 56.6 in April, up from 55.9 in March, the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) – a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity – signalled a sharp expansion of Irish construction activity. Moreover, April marked the sixty-eighth consecutive month of greater construction activity in Ireland.

Commenting on the survey, Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, noted that:

“Irish construction firms have made a strong start to the second quarter of the year, according to the April results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI. The headline PMI index rose modestly last month, consistent with an acceleration in the pace of overall activity growth from what was already a very solid pace in March. Furthermore, Housing activity was again (and for the fourth month in a row) the strongest performing sub-sector as growth in residential activity continues to show welcome signs of rapid expansion, at similar rates to those reported in 2018.

“The latest results also point to a reacceleration in New Orders growth, with new business levels continuing to rise sharply, underpinned by ongoing increases in the demand for construction work. That said, negative Brexit uncertainty effects on customers were identified by some firms who noted lower demand in the April survey. Moreover, Brexit was also cited as a factor behind the sharpest rise in purchasing activity since last June, as some firms stated that they had brought forward input purchases in order to mitigate any potential supply issues resulting from Brexit. Nevertheless, the April PMIs indicate that construction remains the fastest-growing major sector of the economy, with growth continuing to outpace that reported in both manufacturing and services where international risks and headwinds, including those linked to Brexit, represent more of a challenge.”

Read more in the next issue of Irish Construction Industry Magazine, Top Companies Issue.