Industry & Business

Despite a decline the construction sector continues to grow

Despite a decline the construction sector continues to grow

October 12
09:04 2015

The construction sector ended the third quarter of the year on a positive note, according to the latest construction Purchasing Managers index from Ulster Bank.

Although the Ulster Bank Construction PMI dropped from 56.5 in August to 55.8 in September, a figure above 50 signals growth in the industry, while a figure under 50 signals contraction.

While this was the lowest reading since March, it still pointed to a marked increase in construction activity during the month. Output has now risen in each of the past 25 months.

For the first time since June, all three monitored sectors of the index – commercial, housing and civil engineering – all recorded activity growth in September.

The index showed that the sharpest expansion was activity on commercial projects, despite the rate of growth easing over the month. Housing activity rose at a slightly faster pace, while civil engineering recorded a return to growth with a modest expansion in activity recorded.

While the construction sector is continuously expanding, the fall in the September headline PMI index represented the third consecutive monthly decline, commented Ulster Bank economist Simon Barry.

Mr Barry said that pattern suggests that momentum behind the recovery slipped a little through the third quarter – a trend that bears watching in the months ahead.  However, there is a clear trend in new orders. The new orders index again showed rapid growth in new business levels in September, with the pace of increase quickening for the second month running.

“These gains in actual and prospective activity continue to underpin rising demand for labour within the sector – the latest solid increase in employment takes the jobs recovery among survey respondents into its third year following a sequence of 25 consecutive months of rising employment,” he said.

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