Activity in the Republic of Ireland’s construction sector continued to contract in July, albeit at the weakest rate in three years, new survey data showed.
Markit Economics said on Monday that the Ulster Bank construction purchasing managers’ index rose to 45.0 in July from 44.9 in the previous month. A reading above 50 indicates expansion while one below suggests contraction.
All three of the sub-sectors monitored by the survey posted a decline in activity in July. The rate of contraction in the housing category was the steepest overall, while the rates of decline in activity in the civil engineering and commercial construction sectors eased since June.
New business received by Irish construction firms increased for the first time in 40 months in July, although the rate of increase was only modest. Some survey respondents attributed the increase to rising maintenance contracts.
Reflecting the further fall in new work, construction firms again lowered their staffing levels in July. The latest reduction was substantial, despite easing for the third month running.