Economics: Irish building and construction output forecast to have risen 10% in the year in first quarter

The domestic economic focus on Friday turns to building and construction output for the first quarter, which will be released by the Central Statistics Office later this morning.

The volume of output in the sector increased by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017 when compared with the preceding period. This reflected rises of 1.4%; 1.0% and 0.9% respectively in the volume of civil engineering; residential building work and non-residential building work.

Meanwhile, on an annual basis, the volume of output in building and construction increased by 16.3% in the October-December period when compared with the fourth quarter of 2016. Output volumes rose by 26.7%; 19.7% and 10.1% respectively in residential building; non-residential building work and civil engineering.

For the whole of 2016, there was an average increase of 17.0% in volume terms in construction output, down slightly from the 17.7% increase posted in 2016. We expect further strong overall output growth in 2018, with another high-teen year-on-year increase, of around 15.0%.

As regards the first quarter, an annual rise in output of 10.0% is envisaged, with poor weather impacting the level of growth. New dwellings completed were up 26% year-on-year in the January-February period, but are likely to have slumped in March as the snow hit.

Alan McQuaid (8/6/18)
Economist