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The Irish construction industry is expected to emerge from recession this year.According to the Irish Construction Industry Federation last week output will rise by up to 2 per cent in 1994, after a 3 per cent fall last year.But the workload figures for last year conflict with those produced by the Irish Department of the Environment which recorded a good year. It said output increased by 3.7 per cent, reaching IR£3.8 billion.Last year construction employed 78,000 people in Ireland and accounted for around 11 per cent of the republic's GDP.The CIF said the currency crisis and interest rate hikes in the first six months of last year hit the house building sector hard. Despite a dramatic fall in rates in the second half of 1993, the resultant recovery in construction was not as strong as hoped. Overall, house building levels were the same as in 1992. Housing accounts for 45 per cent of the industry in Ireland.Commercial and industrial output fell, while civil engineering workloads grew by 10 per cent, mostly due to European Union-funded projects and the gas interconnector project between Britain and Ireland. CONSTRUCTION NEWS

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