Brexit concerns, ‘the Beast from the East’, and rising material prices have all led to a fall in volume of orders during February. Nonetheless, despite the industry falling into stagnation, there is light at the end of the tunnel as Irish construction paints an upbeat picture of the sector’s future. Keep reading for the latest construction industry news and insights…
According to the latest Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), construction growth increased only marginally during the month of February, with the index score rising to 51.4, from a four-month low of 50.2 in January. Ongoing political uncertainty together with rising material prices, fuel bills and staff wages were reported to be holding back client demand. Nonetheless, while civil engineering and house-building activity have been falling, commercial construction expanded at its fastest rate since May 2017.
Construction sites across the UK have been forced to stop work due to heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures. This was concerning given that the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) reported that growth among construction SMEs slowed in the final three months of 2017. Consequently, any further delays will have an impact on the construction output.
A survey from Considerate Constructors Scheme revealed that 84% of respondents regard air pollution in the construction industry as a nationwide issue. With a staggering 40,000 deaths a year linked to air pollution in the UK, and many people suffering long-term health problems caused by poor air quality, the industry is urged to remedy the situation. As a result, ‘Spotlight on… air pollution’ campaign was launched to help construction industry reduce air pollution caused from activities in and around construction sites.
Latest figures from the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’Index (PMI) show that the Irish construction sector made a strong start to 2018, with new orders leading to an increase in staffing levels. Activity rose across all three monitored categories of construction, including civil engineering housing and commercial subsectors, with commercial posting the strongest growth at the start of 2018.