The construction sector of Ireland experienced a sharp fall in growth in February. Activity was down across multiple fields, as said by the latest construction index of Ulster Bank.
The February index averaged at 52, which is considerably lower than the 57.1 that was registered in January 2015.
The results of February point to a notable loss of momentum in the Irish construction activities, according to the PMI survey.
Ulster Bank chief economist Simon Barry said the headline PMI index remained beyond the expansion limit of 50 in February, which still points to a rising level of activities along the same line as the nation has for the past year and a half.
The prime feature of the results posted for February is the sharp fall which indicates that the rate of growth has slowed down by a considerable amount in the month.
Barry said that this follows the large slump that was previously recorded in the January survey. This event takes the growth of the Irish construction sector to its weakest in 18 months. 2014 saw a double digit rise in prices for houses, which rode on a huge ramp up in demand that was combined by a new unit supply that was largely limited.
Last year, the ESRI released a research paper that said the demand for new housing is 90,000 units between 2015 and 2021. Despite that, the construction of new housing is at a record low with barely less than 9,000 completions in the previous year. The Irish government is currently looking at multiple initiatives that are designed to boost the construction sector.