Construction activity picked up in June

However, confidence is likely to be hit by Brexit uncertainty...

Confidence about the growth outlook for the construction sector was close to a record high last month, according to the latest Ulster Bank Purchasing Managers index.

The main index rose from 55.9 to 59.7 during the second quarter- any figure above 50 indicates growth.

This data shows an increase in new orders, employment, and activity across the industry as a whole after number experienced a surprise dip in May.

Growth came mainly from the commercial sector, which experienced its strongest rise in activity since June, while residential building also experienced an upswing.

Firms are hiring at the highest rate in three months to deal with the increase in activity.

Simon Barry, chief economist for Ireland at Ulster Bank notes that this data was gathered both before and after the UK's vote on EU membership, and the surprise leave result:

"While some respondents knew the outcome of the referendum when responding to the June survey, it is too soon to judge the extent of any Brexit related impact on confidence and activity in the construction sector," the economist warns.