Activity in the Irish construction sector remained high in August, completing five successive years of growth in the industry.
This data comes from the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) which tracks changes in total activity in the sector.
For August, the PMI for the Irish construction sector was 58.3, slightly down from the 60.7 posted in July.
However, it is important to recognise that the no change index for construction output is 50.0; August’s figure, although displaying a slight ease, is still way above that level, meaning that activity in the Irish construction sector increased sharply for the month and remains strong.
It is the 60th straight month in which output has increased, indicating strong recovery in the sector, according to Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank.
He said: “The August survey results were also notable as they marked the 60th consecutive monthly expansion of construction activity, indicating that survey respondents have now been in recovery mode for five years following the extreme collapse which took hold during the financial crisis.”
The data shows that activity in the three sub-sectors eased slightly. However, in each case, all three still recorded growth in activity during August.
Residential projects still increased at an encouragingly fast pace, with a PMI of 60.3, even though this was slightly down on July’s 63.9.
The rate of growth for commercial is at its slowest level this year; however, at 57.7, the level is still markedly high.
For civil engineering, the PMI for August was recorded at 51.5. Historically, this sub-sector has suffered most in terms of growth, so the fact that this is the second month in succession that an output increase has been recorded must be positive.
Unsurprisingly, business optimism is high, reaching its highest level for three months, and the buoyancy of the housing sector means respondents feel construction activity will increase in the next year.