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Construction expansion rate speeded up in June – index

The pace of construction sector expansion quickened last month, new figures indicate.

Faster rates of activity, new orders and employment were all recorded in June, according to the Ulster Bank’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

The benchmarked index provides a snapshot of economic performance. It recorded the fastest increase in constriction activity for three months.

Simon Barry, a chief economist at the Ulster Bank, said while part of the period covered was post-Brexit referendum, it was too early to assess the impact of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

“The June Construction PMI survey was conducted over the second half of the month, with the majority of responses returned prior to the UK referendum result,” he said.

“Thus, while some respondents knew the outcome of the referendum when responding to the June survey, it is too soon to judge the extent of any Brexit-related impact on confidence and activity in the construction sector.

“In fact, the June results show that Irish construction firms are strongly optimistic about the prospects for future growth over the coming year.

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“Sentiment improved sharply last month and was just lower than the record high recorded in late 2014.

“So while the PMI survey results will bear particularly close watching in the months ahead, the encouraging strength of activity, orders and sentiment at the end of the second quarter indicates that the Irish construction sector carries solid momentum into the second half of the year.”

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