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Irish construction sector still expanding after Brexit vote

Published 08/08/2016

The Irish construction sector continued to expand last month
The Irish construction sector continued to expand last month

The Irish construction sector continued to expand last month, apparently undeterred by the result of the Brexit referendum, figures indicate.

Growth rates reached a four-month high in July, with increased orders and more people hired, according to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index.

Economists at the bank said economic uncertainty remained in Ireland in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the EU and highlighted that Irish building firms are more domestically focused, and therefore less likely to be impacted than exporters.

The seasonally adjusted index is designed to track changes in the construction sector in the Republic of Ireland month by month.

Simon Barry, a senior economist at Ulster Bank, said: "The July survey results offer the first glimpse into Irish construction trends following the UK referendum.

"The continuation of strong trends in overall activity and new business provide important encouragement that the sector's recovery is maintaining solid momentum at present.

"It is important not to be complacent on this front, however.

"Uncertainty remains high about the extent of the possible adverse impact on the Irish economy from Brexit-related risks, even if the primarily domestic-focussed construction sector isn't in the line of fire to the same extent as the more export-oriented manufacturing sector where recent trends have clearly deteriorated as Brexit effects have begun to take hold."

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