Northern Ireland

Small rise in construction output in Northern Ireland

Construction site
Image caption The Northern Ireland construction industry has shown its first sign of growth for almost four years

The Northern Ireland construction industry has shown its first sign of growth for almost four years.

The total volume of construction output in the third quarter of 2011 increased by 0.8% compared to the second quarter of 2011.

This was the first quarterly increase in the total volume of construction output since Q2 2008.

However, output in the third quarter of 2011 was 12.5% lower compared to the same period in 2010.

Provisional results from the Index of Services for the third quarter of 2011 showed that output levels had risen over the quarter by 1.9%.

However, they were down by 0.8% compared to the same quarter a year earlier.

Provisional results from the Index of Production for the third quarter of 2011 reported an increase of 5.2% over the quarter and a rise of 8.2% when compared to the same period a year ago.

Laurence Spencer, who heads the Belfast restructuring practice at McGrigors law firm, said the results offered some positive news at a difficult time for construction firms.

"The situation in Northern Ireland remains challenging for construction companies and depends very much on where they sit in the foodchain," he said.