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Ireland’s construction sector expanded at a robust pace in September but the pace of growth weakened from August, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 56.3 in September from 57.5 in August. A score above 50.0 indicates expansion.

Overall growth was driven by housing and commercial activity. Meanwhile, civil engineering activity fell for the second month running.

New orders continued to grow sharply as the easing of COVID-19 restrictions boosted demand. Further growth of new orders fed through to increases in both employment and purchasing activity.

Global material shortages was one factor leading to a further substantial lengthening of suppliers’ delivery times, with delays in September more pronounced than seen in August, the survey showed.

With raw materials often in short supply, firms experienced another steep rise in input costs. The latest increase in input prices was only fractionally softer than July’s series record.

Business sentiment deteriorated to a seven-month low in September, but firms were still strongly confident in the 12-month outlook for activity.


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