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Irish construction nosedives

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The Irish construction market has shrunk by the equivalent of more than a quarter of its size each year of the economic downturn, according to research

Data analysis firm Timetric found the industry had declined at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of –28 per cent between 2008 and 2012.

It was worth 10.9 billion euros (£9.2 billion) in 2012. To give this context, the German construction industry was more than 25 times larger in the same year.

All sectors suffered negative growth due to the global recession and government austerity measures.

Commercial construction had the largest decline over the four years, with a CAGR of –33 per cent, equivalent to losing a third of its value each year.

Housebuilding was also hard hit, registering a CAGR of –29 per cent during the review period, while industrial construction recorded –31 per cent.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for firms reliant on the Irish construction market, as is expected to grow marginally over the next four years.

Timetric predicted it would grow at a CAGR of 1 per cent to reach about 11.3 billion euros in 2017.

This is expected to be driven by the infrastructure sector.

The report said: ‘Factors including a low benchmark interest rate, various transport plans and government initiatives to try to stimulate the economy are expected to encourage growth in the market during this time.’

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