Good news for the sector as Q1 Construction activity up 4.4pc

The volume of output in building and construction was 4.4pc higher in the first quarter of 2013 when compared with the preceding period, latest CSO figures show today. 

This reflects increases of 6.8pc and 1.2pc respectively in residential building and non-residential building. There was a decrease of 0.7pc in the volume of civil engineering.

The change in the value of production for all building and construction was +1.9pc.

On an annual basis, the volume of output in building and construction increased by 10.7pc in the first quarter of 2013.

There was an increase of 9.5pc in the value of production in the same period.

The annual rise in the volume of output reflects year-on-year increases of 26.8pc and 2.4pc respectively in civil engineering and non-residential building work. Output in residential building decreased by 2.5pc. Business World

CIF Director General Tom Parlon, said: “It’s too early to say that the decline in construction activity is over, but this is a positive signal,” said . “We are definitely seeing some optimism returning to the industry. The mood amongst our member companies has changed significantly from this time last year. At that time there was little hope of securing work in the industry, however that seems to have changed in certain parts of the country at least.

“This is actually the second quarter in a row that the CSO have recorded an increase in volume and value of construction activity. There was an increase between Q3 and Q4 2012 and now the latest CSO report for Q1 2013 has noted further growth. Our challenge is to sustain that trend and generate further activity throughout the industry in the coming quarters.

“The breakdown of the statistics by sector is also not that surprising. The 6.8% jump in residential building activity reflects the recently published CIF house building statistics. We have noted that the number of new housing starts grew by 159 units in the first three months of 2013, a jump of almost 20% on the same period in 2012. This was offset by the number of housing units completed which dropped by 6.4% in the period up to April.

“The drop of 0.7% in the volume of civil engineering work is disappointing. That sector was already working from a low base. This underlines the need for capital spending and why a stimulus programme is essential if we are to see the construction sector recover,” Mr. Parlon concluded.