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Ireland Construction Sector Expands In December

Ireland's construction sector expanded for the first time in four months in December, data from the IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The Ulster Bank construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.0 in December from 48.2 in November. Any score above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

"Reduced Brexit uncertainty was cited as a source of support for the increase in overall activity at the end of 2019, while the improvement also reflected better performance across the three main sub-sectors," Simon Barry, chief economist, Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said.

Housing activity expanded in December after declining for the first time in almost six-and-a-half years in November. The sharpest expansion was recorded on commercial activity. Civil engineering activity declined further, albeit at a much softer pace and one that was the weakest since last May.

New orders returned to growth in December at a solid pace. Business sentiment strengthened to the highest level in six months in December.

Further, the rate of job creation was solid in December, increasing from the previous month.

Constructors raised their input buying at a solid pace in December and suppliers delivery time increased.

The survey showed that the input cost inflation softened in December to the slowest in three months.

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