Activity is still rising, although more slowly in some sectors, while orders and enquiries are also on the up – although repair and maintenance is losing momentum
The total activity index remains in positive territory after it gained one point over February’s figure to reach 55, the same as in December 2017. The repair and maintenance index continued to lose momentum in March as it dug further into negative territory. It lost another three points over the past month to stand at 46, a 10-month low.
All sectoral indices were in positive territory in March, with civil engineering making a significant improvement over the month. The residential and non-residential activity indices both lost points – one and two, respectively – but continue to indicate growth with figures of 53 and 59. Civil engineering activity returned to positive territory, gaining 24 points to reach 54, close to January’s figure. This follows a plunge of a similar size just a month ago.
Both orders and tender enquiries gained four points each, pushing them further into positive territory. The orders index stood at 71 points while tender enquiries reached 62 points.
All sectors showed growth in orders, especially civil engineering, whose index gained 36 points to reach a 19-month high. Residential and non-residential orders indices gained one and three points to reach 68 and 79, respectively, adding to their long history of positive dynamics.
The non-residential tender enquries index recorded the highest figure of the three – up by four points to 65, followed by residential at 64 (up eight points) and civil engineering at 62 (up six points).
The tender prices index suggested a slowdown in growth, falling four points to 65, a three-month low – but the three-month average, however, is on the rise, underpinned by the positive dynamics in the index over the two months to February.
The employment prospects index remained in positive territory for its eighth month, picking up by two points to hit a four-month high of 55.
The percentage of respondents facing no constraints fell further over the past month, by eight percentage points to 24%.
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