Activity in the construction sector contracted more sharply in April than in the previous month as the industry continues to struggle.
The BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland Construction PMI found a slowdown in new orders, as well as in employment and input buying.
It was the seventh successive reduction in total activity in the sector and the most pronounced in three months.
“Construction trends in April maintained a pattern that has been in place since the start of this year. Overall activity contracted once again,” said John McCartney, Director & Head of Research at BNPRE.
“However, the PMI’s leading indicators continued to signal the potential for increased activity. New orders rose again.”
“Consistent with this, input purchases continued to rise, and employment increased for the fourth month in a row.”
The sustained decline in housing activity continued but at a stronger pace than in March.
“The steeper slowdown in new home building is clearly concerning – and somewhat surprising given the sustained rise in residential commencements since last November,” said Mr McCartney.
Commercial activity on the other hand rose slightly, the third month in a row it has done so.
While new orders were also up marginally, even though customers said they were cautious about the conditions of the market.
Employment was also found to have risen during the month, albeit at a rate that was the weakest in the last four months.
The rate of input cost inflation had been falling since October 2021, but in April it picked up again slightly.
“The intensification of cost pressures bucked the trend of the last 18 months, but was relatively slight,” Mr McCartney added.