The rate of Irish construction activity remained high at the end of the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest monthly data.
As per the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), activity rose sharply in Ireland in June, with rising workloads, increased hiring and lower input cost inflation all contributing to a PMI of 58.4 for the month.
Although this is slightly down from May’s 61.8 – which itself represented the fastest acceleration of output for a year – June’s PMI represents a rise in Irish construction activity for the 58th month in succession, meaning output has increased in Ireland for every month in almost five years.
It is a remarkable statistic and June’s PMI means construction output is still well above the 50.0 level which indicates no change at all.
As Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said, the figures signify “ongoing rapid gains in activity.”
He said: “Irish construction firms continued to experience very solid, though slightly slower, growth in June according to the latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey. The headline PMI eased back from what was an extremely elevated reading in May to stand at 58.4 in June, but this is still very much a level which signals ongoing rapid gains in activity.”
According to the data and anecdotal information, both housing and commercial activity were the best performing sub-sectors; both decreased slightly from the levels recorded in May, but commercial (62.0) and housing (60.4) are both recording highly elevated levels of activity.
For civil engineering, output is still falling, but even this has increased from 48.8 in May to 49.3 in June.
Like total construction activity, employment also increased for the 58th month in succession, but in June, staffing levels rose even faster than in May, with an increase in demand given as the chief reason.
Although confidence of construction firms fell to a six-month low, it remains elevated, with 56% of respondents expecting a rise in activity over the coming year.