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Ulster Bank Construction PMI reveals strong end to 2018

Ulster Bank Construction PMI reveals strong end to 2018

Details from the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey reveal Irish construction activity enjoyed a strong end to 2018.

In December, activity in the sector, hit a four-month high, according to the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey, which is a seasonally adjusted index that tracks changes in total construction activity.

According to the latest data, the PMI hit 56.3, which is above 55.5 from November.

Furthermore, it is well higher than the no-change mark of 50.0 which signifies neither positive nor negative output.

Output has been driven by residential and commercial construction.

Commercial activity led the way; output in this sub-sector was elevated at 57.5 in November, but increased further to 58.5, according to the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey.

In the residential sub-sector, construction activity was at a high level in December; although it eased slightly from 58.2 in November to 56.0 in December, the activity was still encouragingly positive for the month.

It is only civil engineering that is lagging behind. And yet, even then, the rate of output has increased, from 40.1 to 45.5. It still represents a fall in activity, though it is less severe.

The overall activity in Irish construction activity remained healthy though, undoubtedly pushed along by the growth in commercial construction activity, which increased at its fastest pace for five months.

And Simon Berry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said the “strong year” means optimism is high for the future.

“Overall, the December survey results round off another strong year for Irish construction firms, with the PMI pointing to ongoing very healthy expansion throughout 2018.

“Firms themselves remain optimistic about the coming year with almost half of respondents expecting further growth in activity in the coming 12 months.

“Positive sentiment about the year ahead is being underpinned by increased capital investment along with confidence about the prospects of the wider Irish economy more generally.”

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