Ireland’s construction sector is set to grow by more than 20 per cent this year as it continues to recover, but output will still remain less than half of the peak recorded in 2007.
According to construction consultancy firm Bruce Shaw, the output of the construction industry will be worth in the region of €15 billion in 2016, with costs rising by 7 per cent throughout the year.
The recovery has been seen in both public and private projects, although the residential sector has been slower to recover, with output below the 25,000 units estimated to be needed each year.
The firm flagged increased costs and a lack of skilled resources as potential threats to growth in the industry, as it launched the 2016 Bruce Shaw Ireland Handbook, which provides a review of the Irish construction market and an outlook for 2016
“We can’t fill the gap fast enough to meet the demand and this is seriously impacting on tender levels,” said Derry Scully, chairman of Bruce Shaw. “It takes four to five years to train construction professionals and a similar timescale to train skilled craftsmen. The industry needs to look at how we can address this issue.”
The level considered sustainable by European standards is between 10 and 12 per cent of gross domestic product; to achieve that, Irish output would need to rise to between €20 and €24 billion.
“It is encouraging to see the recovery in the construction sector but a number of challenges and risks remain which are hindering the sustainability of that recovery,” said Mr Scully. “Construction inflation levels are running well ahead of general inflation with average construction build costs continuing to increase.”
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