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Ireland Construction Sector Continues To Contract In May

Ireland's construction sector contracted for the third straight month in May, though at a softer pace, amid covid-19 restrictions, data from the IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The Ulster Bank construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 19.9 in May from 4.5 in April.

This rate of contraction was still sharper than at any other time in 20 years of data collection. Any score below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

"Mirroring the pattern of the headline PMI, the sectoral sub-indices also point to a slower pace of contraction (particularly so in the case of commercial and housing), consistent with April having been the point of peak stress for Irish construction activity during the current crisis," Simon Barry, chief economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said.

All three categories of activity decreased in May, though the rate of contraction eased in each case. Civil engineering activity declined sharply, while commercial activity fell softly.

New orders declined for the third straight month in May due to covid-19 crisis. Employment and purchasing activity fell for the third month in a row.

Suppliers' delivery time lengthened further in May.

Input prices rose slightly in May, but the rate of inflation was below the series average.

The 12-month outlook for the construction firms remained pessimistic in May.

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