In its latest construction activity study, the bank’s chief economist Pat McArdle says that economic activity in the industry has posted its lowest figures for seven years, with housing activity leading the decline.
Mr McArdle said: “House completions in Ireland are declining at record rates. As housing is two thirds of construction, this has dragged overall construction activity into negative territory since mid-2007. But December was unusual in that commercial and civil construction also contracted.”
Construction in Northern Ireland has taken a similar dive, the bank’s economist observed: “The housing market has also come off the boil after having been even more heated than Ireland’s. Property prices have been falling fast, with a 6% drop in September.”
Economic performance in Ireland and Northern Ireland normally reflect quite different conditions and Mr McArdle claimed this is the first time there has been a coincidence in their performance.