Construction activity in Ireland accelerated at a faster pace in April than was recorded in March.
According to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), the rate of expansion was at a three-month high, reflecting faster growth in input purchasing, new orders and employment.
In March, the PMI was recorded at 57.5 – which is itself much higher than the no-change figure of 50.0.
This increased even further in April though; the PMI of 60.7 signals a sharp expansion in construction activity in the Irish construction sector.
April’s construction output rose at its second fastest rate since May 2017, with an increase in new projects attributed to a key reason for this increase.
Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said construction improvement was “broadly-based.”
He said: “The latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey show that Irish construction firms experienced strong, and faster rates of expansion in April.
“Following a weather-related slowdown in March, the headline PMI picked back up to a very elevated reading of 60.7 in April, in the process reaching a three-month high.
“There was a very sharp acceleration in commercial activity which took the commercial PMI to its highest level since last May, in the process leaving commercial as the strongest performing activity category last month.
“But the improvement was broadly-based, with the pace of growth in housing also picking up to an 11-month high, while civil engineering recorded a fifth consecutive month of expansion, albeit at a somewhat slower pace in April.”
As Mr Berry pointed out, commercial is the best performing of the three sub-sectors; up from 58.0 in March to 63.1 in April. Housing follows closely behind, at 62.0 – itself up decisively from 60.3.
Civil engineering experience and ease of growth but output is still expanding.
Looking to the future, optimism in the sector remains robust, despite being lower than March.