August 18, 2022

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Input costs in construction rose at a significant pace again in November. It was, however,...

Input costs in construction rose at a significant pace again in November. It was, however, a slightly less substantial rise than what was posted in October.
hat is according to the latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
A range of factors reportedly added to inflationary pressures, including higher material costs, rising freight charges and Brexit.
Companies also indicated that the carbon tax had contributed to higher input prices.
Close to 68pc of respondents to the PMI indicated that their input costs had risen over the month of November.
The report also found little sign of respite for firms trying to purchase inputs in terms of supply-chain disruption last month.
Delivery times continued to lengthen “substantially” amid pressure on supplier capacity and delays caused by Covid-19 and Brexit.
“The November results again make clear that the sector continues to face highly testing supply-chain challenges linked to a variety of factors which continue to result in delivery delays and marked input cost pressures,” said Simon Barry, chief economist in the Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank.
“[These factors] include the pandemic, Brexit, higher global and domestic prices for energy and other materials, and rising freight charges.”
The Construction PMI posted a reading of 56.3 last month, down marginally from 56.9 in October.
However, it was still indicative of a sharp monthly increase in total activity.
Any reading above 50 points to an increase in activity, while readings below 50 signal a decrease.
The latest rise was the seventh in as many months.
Where activity expanded, respondents generally attributed this to improving demand.
For the first time in four months, all three monitored categories of construction – housing, commercial, and civil engineering – posted increases in activity, with civil engineering returning to growth.
In fact, civil engineering posted the fastest expansion of the three categories in November.
Nonetheless, rates of growth in housing and commercial activity remained “marked”, according to the report.
“The latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey highlight that construction firms have continued to experience strong growth through the middle of the fourth quarter,” Mr Barry said.
“The headline PMI eased slightly in November, but at 56.3 remains at elevated levels consistent with a strong pace of activity expansion, albeit one which has decelerated from the exceptional, post-lockdown snap-back growth registered earlier in the year.”
In commercial construction activity, the pace of growth moderated somewhat from a very rapid pace.
Meanwhile, housing and civil engineering both registered improvement last month.
Construction firms responded to higher workloads by expanding their staffing levels for the eighth month running, with the marked pace of job creation the sharpest since August.

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