Construction slows again amid 'loss of momentum'

Ireland’s construction activity expanded at is slowest pace since March 2015 last month as the sector cools off after a summer surge.

The latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index published today shows October’s slowdown marked the third straight month of easing output.

However, the index notched up a reading of 52.9 last month, which although down from the 56.2 recorded in September, still shows that construction activity is “comfortably in expansion territory”, according to Simon Barry, Ulster Bank’s chief economist for the Republic of Ireland.

However, he said there had been a “notable loss of momentum” last month.

Total construction activity has risen in each of the past 62 months from a virtual standstill during the downturn.

Residential and commercial construction activity increased during October, but at slower rates than in September, while civil engineering activity declined in October at the fastest pace in 14 months.

“It is not wholly surprising to see some cooling in the pace of construction growth, given the extremely rapid expansion recorded in the summer and the similar signs of slowdown from elsewhere in the Irish private sector of late,” said Mr Barry.

“But the headline results from the October construction survey are certainly on the disappointing side.”

But he said that new orders in the sector are “holding up well”.

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