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Ireland’s Civil Construction: Outlook for 2024

As 2024 dawns, the civil construction sector in Ireland is poised for significant growth, standing out against the broader European trend of contraction in the construction industry.

Projected Growth in the Civil Construction Sector

Ireland’s construction sector is forecast to experience robust growth, outpacing other European nations. With a projected expansion of 4.4% in 2024, the country leads in terms of construction output growth amongst 19 European countries. This growth is in stark contrast to the overall decline expected across Europe, where construction activity is set to contract by 1.7% in 2023 and 2.1% in 2024​​​​. A significant contributor to this growth is the residential construction sector, which is expected to grow by 12.3% in 2023 and 2024. In comparison, there’s a forecasted 15% reduction in residential construction activity across the 19 Euroconstruct countries during the same period. This surge in residential construction is underpinned by strong demand and a suite of policy measures and incentives. The civil engineering sector is not far behind, with a forecasted growth of 2.4% in 2023 and 5.3% in 2024​​.

Inflation, Interest Rates, and Government Spending

While inflation and interest rates are expected to impact the construction sector in 2024, the trend appears to be moving in a positive direction. The Central Bank of Ireland anticipates consumer price inflation to moderate from 6.5% in 2022 to 2.1% in 2024. Moreover, the Irish government has increased core capital expenditure for 2024 to €12.8 billion, in line with the National Development Plan. This increase is intended to address significant infrastructure requirements across Ireland, indicating a healthy pipeline of projects for the construction industry​​.

Recognising the critical shortage of modern construction skills, the government has invested heavily in upskilling within the industry. This move, along with the adoption of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), is expected to play a vital role in shaping the future of Ireland’s construction sector. The emphasis on education and training, particularly in Net Zero Energy Buildings and MMC, will help in meeting the industry’s skill demands and sustainability goals​​. Also, technological advancements, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and AI-powered platforms, are being increasingly embraced by contractors to drive efficiencies and meet sustainability targets. Additionally, there’s a growing trend towards articulating ‘social value’ through construction tenders. This approach focuses on creating community-centric residential developments and leveraging local construction ecosystems, thereby contributing positively to local economies​​.

The civil construction sector in Ireland is set for a promising year in 2024, marked by significant growth, technological advancement, and a strong focus on sustainability and skills development. While there are challenges such as inflation, interest rates, and skill shortages, the sector’s growth trajectory is bolstered by government spending, policy support, and an innovative approach to construction practices.

For regular updates and insights into Ireland’s construction sector, stay informed at www.breakingground.news. Also, be sure to share your industry news by emailing editor@breakingground.news

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