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Ireland Construction Sector Growth Slows In January

Ireland's construction sector expanded for the second month, though at a softer pace, in January, data from the IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The Ulster Bank construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.9 in January from 52.0 in December. Any score above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

"In particular, a second consecutive strong improvement in the New Orders index took the growth rate of new business to a 7-month high in January as reduced Brexit-related uncertainty was again cited as a support for the near-term outlook," Simon Barry, chief economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said.

Housing activity contracted in January, while commercial activity expanded at the fastest pace since February. Civil engineering activity declined at the slowest pace in eight months.

"With leading indicators such as the housing commencements data continuing to point to further upside for housing output, we would be surprised if the Housing PMI doesn't show some improvement in the months ahead," Barry said.

New orders increased in January and new business rose for the second straight month.

Business sentiment rose to the highest in twelve months at the beginning of the year.

Staffing levels increased in January with rise in new order volumes, extending the current sequence of job creation to just shy of six-and-a-half years. The latest increase in employment was solid and the sharpest for seven months.

Input buying rose for the second month in a row at the beginning of the year.

Input costs increased in the construction firms in January and the overall rate of inflation softened to the lowest in four months.

Suppliers' delivery times increased and the rate of deterioration in vendor performance was broadly in line with those recorded in the final quarter of 2019.

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