Ireland in Boom ! An overview of the budding construction industry:

The latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index shows activity rose to 63.6 for the first sector of this
 year from 58.6 in December on the back of new business.

Total activity in the construction sector has increased in each of the past 29 months, according to the index.

All three sub-categories monitored by the index – housing, commercial and civil engineering – recorded a rise in activity. The sharpest increase was in housing activity which recorded the strongest growth since October 2014, rising from 28.3 to 65.8. Commercial activity jumped from 59.7 to 62.4 while civil engineering activity rose from 52 to 54.7.

The index reported a sharp rise in new business while the rate of job creation quickened for the third month running.

Business sentiment was little-changed at the start of the year, remaining strongly positive. Rising new work was the main driver of optimism regarding activity for the year ahead, with three-fifths of respondents predicting growth.

Construction firms increased their purchasing activity at a stronger pace in January due to a rise in new orders. Input buying has expanded in each month since March 2014, the index