Irish construction surged in March

The sector is expecting demnd to remain strong in the coming months

Irish construction surged in March

Image: Photocall Ireland

Irish construction rose at its fastest pace in five months during March as new orders increased.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 60.8 in March - that was up from 57.9 in February.

It notes that according to its respondents, strengthening customer demand was the main factor which led to this increase in activity.

Commenting on the survey, Simon Barry, the chief economist for Ulster Bank in the Republic of Ireland commented, "There was a very sharp acceleration in commercial activity which took the Commercial PMI to its highest level since last October, in the process leaving commercial as the strongest performing activity category last month. Housing activity continues to expand at a very rapid rate, albeit that the pace of growth in residential activity eased modestly in March.

"Civil engineering remained an area of weakness, however, with respondents reporting a fifth consecutive decline in activity."

He added that the sector is optimistic about the coming months: "Strong demand for the services of construction firms was very much evident in further substantial increases in new orders, employment and input buying last month.

"And respondents continue to judge the sector’s outlook to be very favourable, with improving economic conditions, strengthening client demand and plans for business expansion cited as important sources of support. Indeed, confidence about future activity prospects edged higher in March with more than 57% of respondents anticipating a rise in their activity levels over the coming twelve months."