February represented the sixth consecutive month of growth in the Irish construction sector, with firms seeing accelerated new order levels, increasing their staff levels and maintaining a strong air of optimism. <p>

The latest Ulster Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), published this morning, fell marginally to 56.2 from January’s reading of 56.4, but again remained well above the 50 level separating growth from contraction in the sector. <p>

The sharpest expansion in activity was again recorded on residential building projects, but there was also a significant 3.6 point rise to 40.9 in the reading for civil engineering. <p>

Staff levels, at respondent firms, have now increased in every month since last September, with them quickening for the second straight month in February.<p>

<b>Beyond the near-term, firms remained strongly optimistic about the sector’s 12-month-ahead outlook, which is hugely encouraging.
<p><h5>Alan McQuaid</h5>

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