Monday, January 14, 2013

14/1/2013: Irish Construction PMI - December 2012

The latest stats for Construction Sector PMI for Ireland are out (link here) and the data is not encouraging. At 43.0, the rate of decline in the sector activity was slightly down in December 2012, compared to November and October 42.6 readings. In fact, the rate of decline was the lowest since May 2012 when the index reading was 46.3. However, despite this, Construction sector activity continued to show uninterrupted contraction for 41 months in a row (the records available to me only go back to August 2009).

Overall sector PMI is currently below12mo MA of 43.84 (2011 average was 44.42, ahead of the 2012 average). PMI in December was ahead of 3mo MA of 42.73, but not statistically significantly so, and ahead of 6mo MA of 42.17.

As shown above, rate of decline has moderated in all 3 core components of the overall index:
  • In Housing sub-sector, index finished 2012 on 45.8, an improvement m/m from 44.2 in November and better than 3mo MA (44.47), 6mo MA (42.82) and 12mo MA (42.49).
  • In Commercial sub-sector, index ended December at 41.3 - a gain on 39.8 in November, but below 3mo MA (41.73), below 6mo MA (42.65) and below 12mo MA (45.16)
  • In Civil Engineering, index rose to 35.2 (still massively below 50 line that would mark zero growth) from 31.1 in November. The index is ahead of 3mo MA (32.33), ahead of 6mo MA (33.42) and below 12mo MA (36.86).

Correlations between different index components are shown below:

Overall, Construction Sector activity is still contracting, albeit contraction rate has moderated somewhat. In December 2011, the index stood at 49.9 (virtually zero growth signal), while in December 2012 it was at 43.0 (clear contraction). Housing subsector registered the only monthly expansion at 52.3 (since 2009) in December 2011, contrasted by an outright decline of 45.8 in December 2012. Commercial subsector activity showed nearly zero growth at 49.8 in December 2011 against an outright and deep contraction of 41.3 in December 2012. And Civil Engineering posted a substantial contraction reading of 37.7 in December 2011, more than matched by an even deeper contraction of 35.2 in December 2012.

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