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Ireland Construction Sector Contracts In August

Ireland's construction sector deteriorated for the first time in three months in August, data from the IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The Ulster Bank construction Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 44.0 in August from 53.2 in July. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

"Following two months of post-lockdown increases in activity in June and July, respondents reported that overall activity slipped back into contraction territory last month, albeit that the pace of contraction was nowhere near as severe as during the peak of the crisis in April and May," Ulster Bank's Chief Economist for Ireland Simon Barry said.
"High levels of market uncertainty linked to the effects of the pandemic and some recent signs of a cooling in the wider economy's recovery momentum weighed on the August results, including in relation to sentiment about the sector's future prospects," Barry said.

All three categories of activity decreased in August. Commercial activity and housing activity declined sharply, while civil engineering activity contracted at a softer pace.

New orders declined in the August due to the market uncertainty as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

Purchasing activity declined modestly for the fist time in three months in August, while suppliers' delivery time lengthened further, albeit at a softer pace.

Input cost increased for the fourth straight month in August, but the rate of inflation eased than series average.

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