Recent figures indicate that the increase in new Construction jobs in Ireland in January 2017 reached nearly record levels.
The latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index provided evidence that the number of companies employing new and additional employees boosted figures to the second higher since the survey began 16 years ago. The survey revealed the Irish construction industry was enjoying a sharp increase in activity throughout January, sparked by a proliferation of new orders.
Providing an index that is adjusted from season to season, the PMI keeps track of adjustments effecting overall activity within the construction sector. In terms of pricing, figures show that input cost inflation increased in rate to the highest since February 2007.
Ulster Bank’s Chief Economist Republic of Ireland, Simon Barry, said: "Irish construction activity continues to grow at a healthy pace according to the latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI.”
Mr Barry continued to assert that, after a strong finish at the end of 2016, the headline PMI was still showing signs of expansion in January, even though the rate of growth slowed for the third month running after a loss of impetus early in the year. He continued to stress that civil engineering is trailing other sectors with three consecutive months of diminishing activity.
Nevertheless, Mr Barry said: "Very encouragingly, residential activity remains a particular bright spot with housing activity continuing to rise at a rapid pace, while commercial activity also very much remains in expansion mode, though the pace of growth has eased in recent months.”
"Respondents continue to judge the Irish construction outlook to be very favourable. Confidence about future activity prospects remained strongly positive in January amid further solid gains in new orders, despite some easing in the rate of increase.”
As a result of the sustained growth in work volumes, the past month has seen a significant increase in employment with job creation reaching the second-fastest rate in the history of the survey, which has been running for just over 16 years.
Mr Barry continued: "One note of caution stems from further evidence of building cost pressures with the rate of input cost inflation picking up to its quickest in almost 10 years.
"Respondents reported higher prices for oil-related products and for items sourced from UK suppliers, the latter effect consistent with growing signs of Brexit-related price and costs increases in the UK economy."