Irish construction fall eases again in February – survey

DUBLIN, March 8 (BestGrowthStock) – Conditions in the construction
sector in Ireland deteriorated at the slowest pace in over two
years in February, with the rate of contraction in new orders
showing signs of moderating, a survey showed on Monday.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index
(PMI) rose to 40.4 in February from 36.1 in January, still a
long way from crossing the 50 mark representing growth, but at
its healthiest since November 2007.

“A lack of new business is continuing to weigh on the
domestically-focused construction sector and activity remained
well into contractionary territory in February,” said Lynsey
Clemenger, economist at Ulster Bank.

“This stands in contrast to the signs from the
corresponding manufacturing and services sector surveys with
improved global conditions and an associated rise in export
orders bringing these two sectors close to expansion.”

Ireland’s services PMI stood at a 25-month high of 48.8 in
February, while the corresponding index for the manufacturing
sector also rose last month to reach 48.6. [ID:nLAG006149]

While growth in new export orders pushed those surveys back
towards the 50-mark, the debris of the spectacular bursting of
Ireland’s decade-long construction boom two years ago continue
to hurt the construction industry.

That crash helped plunge Ireland into its worst recession
on record, blowing a hole in public finances and causing a
banking crisis which the government is addressing with a
54-billion euro “bad bank” scheme.

Optimism regarding future activity levels was however
recorded for the second successive month in February but the
level of sentiment was slightly weaker as panelists forecast
that new business would remain difficult to secure.

Stock Today

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Diane Craft)

Irish construction fall eases again in February – survey