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Ireland Construction Sector Contracts For First Time Since 2013

Ireland's construction sector contracted for the first time in more than six years in September, data from IHS Markit showed Monday.

The Ulster Bank construction Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 48.3 in September from 53.7 in August. Any score below 50 indicates contraction in the sector. This was the first contraction since August 2013.

New order growth eased for the third straight month in September and was the slowest seen in the current sequence of growth which began in July 2013, as Brexit uncertainty is negatively weighing on customer demand.

The survey showed that the housing sector growth eased notably in September. At the same time, the commercial activity and work on civil engineering projects contracted in September.

Employment growth fell to a nearly six-year low in September and purchasing activity declined for the first time since February 2014.

On the price front, input price inflation was little changed from August's 64-month low.

"Confidence about the coming year improved slightly last month, but the Future Activity Index remains near August's nine-year low as anecdotes from the survey highlighted that concerns about Brexit impacts were the key factor weighing on sentiment regarding the sector's prospects for the incoming year," Simon Barry, chief economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said.

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