Construction sounds positive note with 5.5% growth in Q3 2018

Construction has seen growth but faces mounting challenges in 2019
Construction has seen growth but faces mounting challenges in 2019

Construction output in Northern Ireland rose by 5.5% in the third quarter (Q3) of 2018 despite concerns over Brexit and the general state of the economy.

The data comes in the latest edition of the Northern Ireland Construction Bulletin produced by the NI statistics agency NISRA.

The report provides a general measure of change in real terms in the output of the sector across the province and are used a general measure of health for it and the wider economy.

It indicates the total volume of construction output in the quarter rose by 5.5% compared with Q2, and was 2% higher compared with Q3 2017.

Despite fluctuations, the total volume of construction output in NI has been on an upward trend since Q4 2013.

Commenting on the Construction Output Statistics, Neal Taylor, audit and assurance partner at business advisory firm Grant Thornton said the data provided some positive news for the sector.

“Given that the traditional July holidays fall within the period, construction levels in the third quarter can tend to be leaner, or flat, compared to the rest of the year, but that is not what we are seeing here.

“The volume was also 2% higher than the same period in 2017, illustrating a continued upward trend of rising output that has prevailed since the end of 2014.

However he said the impact of Brexit and wider political uncertainty was unknown “particularly for large infrastructure and commercial projects, while the subdued sales expectations of surveyors outlined in the most recent UK Residential Market Survey, adds further context”.

Further information contained in the NI Composite Economic Index (NICEI) also released on Thursday by NISRA shows that NI Economic output as a whole increased over the quarter and the year

The NICEI results indicate that NI economic activity was estimated to have increased by 0.4% in real terms driven principally by both construction and manufacturing.

Both showed growth of 0.4% though that was partially offset by a decrease in of around 0.3% in the services sector

It said NI economic activity grew faster than UK GDP over the year but slightly slower over the quarter.