There is good news for Ireland’s housing supply as the construction sector continues to pick up.
Construction continued to increase during March despite disruption from the heavy snowfall. The Ulster Bank construction index out today shows activity continued to rise sharply amid the bad weather. Also, the rate of job creation picked up in the sector.
Simon Barry, Chief Economist at Ulster Bank, said that: “Despite having to contend with adverse weather during the early part of the month, in particular, Irish construction activity continued to expand at a very brisk pace in March, according to the latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey. “A number of the survey’s main metrics, including the headline activity and new orders indices, did register some slippage last month reflecting weather-related difficulties. And snow disruption also proved problematic for supplier deliveries which were reported as being subject to longer lead times. However, at 57.5 in March, the headline PMI continues to point to robust growth, albeit not quite as rapid as in February when the PMI was at 59.2.”
“In fact, we would not have been surprised to have seen a larger weather impact, particularly given the sizeable impact on factory output reported in the March Manufacturing PMI survey.”
“So we take the March survey results as further evidence of a construction sector which continues to register very strong underlying growth performance. It was also encouraging that the sector’s growth was again broad-based,” he added.
“Led by particularly strong growth in Housing activity, all three sub-sectors recorded expansion for the fourth month in a row. Furthermore, confidence levels among Irish construction firms clearly remain very buoyant as sentiment was little changed from February at levels that are amongst the highest on record. “Over 63% of firms expect activity to increase in the coming twelve months, underpinned by confidence about the prospects for both the wider Irish economy and the construction sector itself.”