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Commercial activity increases for the first time in 3 months

Dec 12, 2019

Latest numbers from the Ireland Ulster Bank Construction PMI show an increase in commercial activity, while Brexit uncertainty continues to affect new orders.

The Ulster Bank Construction PMI rose to 48.2 in November 2019 from a near 6-1/2-year low of 46.2 in the previous month, pointing to the third straight month of contraction, as housing activity fell for the first time since June 2013 (47.7 vs 51.3) and civil engineering output shrank for the 15th month and at the fastest pace in almost 6-1/2 years (36.4 vs 41.9).

Meanwhile, commercial activity increased for the first time in three months (51.2 vs 46.9 in October). At the same time, new orders fell for the second month in a row on the back of Brexit uncertainty, and buying levels dropped for the second time in the past three months. Meanwhile, employment growth was at four-month high.

On the price front, input cost inflation rose to a seven-month high, amid widespread reports of greater raw material prices such as steel, insulation and fuel. Finally, sentiment was little-changed from October's three-month high. Construction Pmi in Ireland averaged 57.68 from 2013 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 68.80 in February of 2016 and a record low of 43.40 in June of 2013.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® is a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity in Ireland.


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