Ulster Bank PMI shows Building sector rebound continues

Increases in the rate of job creation and business sentiment reached their highest level since the Ulster Bank Construction PMI report began in 2000.

Simon Barry, chief economist for the Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said the construction sector continues to improve.

“The headline PMI index did fall slightly last month, but at 58.8 it remains well above 50, signalling solid ongoing expansion in activity levels.

“In keeping with the pattern of the last several months, the improvements are being underpinned by recoveries in both the housing and commercial arenas where activity has now increased in each of the past five and four months respectively.”

According to Ulster Bank, rising new business has led companies to take on extra staff in November.

The monthly increase in purchasing activity recorded in November has been the fastest since Jun 2006. Most of this increase came from new work.

Sentiment is also improving. Two-thirds of survey respondents expect a growth in activity over the next 12 months, which surpasses the previous high set in Jul 2000.

Mr Barry said: “Of course activity levels in construction remain extremely low following the 2007-13 crash. So, to reiterate a point we have made previously, the recent improvements in construction activity and confidence — as welcome as they are — need to be seen in the context of the huge declines of recent years.”