| New order growth quickened in the Irish construction sector during July, helping to support a further sharp rise in activity and a stronger rate of job creation.
That said, the rate of expansion in total construction activity eased to the weakest since January. The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) – a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity – dropped to 56.6 in July from 58.2 in June, signalling the weakest monthly rise in construction activity since January. That said, the rate of growth remained marked overall as activity increased for the forty-seventh successive month.
Commenting on the survey, Simon Barry, Chief Economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, noted that: “the latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey show Irish construction firms continue to report very solid rates of expansion. The headline PMI did ease for the second month running - and to the lowest level since January – consistent with some moderation in the rate of activity growth in July. However, at 56.6, the PMI remains firmly in expansion territory, and close to the average reading recorded in the pre-crisis 2003—2007 period of rapid growth.
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