The construction industry continued to contract in December, but there were signs that the decline eased as activity, new orders and employment fell at weaker rates.
The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers index stood at 43 in December, up from 42.6 in November. December saw the weakest rate of decline since May 2012.
Ulster Bank said that all three monitored sectors saw weaker falls in activity in December compared to November. The residential sector remained the best performing, with that sub-index moving up to 45.8 from 44.2. The pace of decline in commercial activity also slowed with its sub-index improving to 41.3 from 39.8.
Civil engineering activity continued to be the weakest sector and its sub-index stood at 35.2 in December, although this was an improvement from the November reading of 31.1.