The volume of construction production dropped by 2.4% in the first three months of the year, compared to the final quarter of last year, new data from the CSO shows.
This is despite widespread intense activity in the sector as it attempts to catch up from delays caused by the pandemic and ramp up the output of housing to solve the accommodation crisis.
Civil engineering appeared to stumble most, with a fall of 11.8% in the volume of its production over the three months.
The non-residential sector also decreased by 1.7% between the fourth quarter of last year and the end of the first quarter of this year.
But the residential home building sector registered a 2.8% in the volume of production over the same period.
“Activity in the construction sector remains lower than pre-pandemic levels with production volume in Quarter 1 2022 down 14.6% compared to Quarter 1 2020,” said Sorcha O’Callaghan, statistician in the Business Statistics Division.
However, compared to the first three months of last year when Covid-19 restrictions on building sites were in place, the volume of activity between January and March this year was up 23%.
“Non-essential construction sites were closed in early Quarter 1 2021 and reopened in a phased manner in Quarter 2 2021,” said Ms O’Callaghan.
“This should be kept in mind while interpreting the annual sectoral changes.”
The construction sector has come under pressure in recent months from the rapidly rising cost of raw materials.
This has led many building firms to shy away from signing fixed price contracts, where there is no possibility of revising prices if costs increase further.
Supply chain problems have also created difficulties for firms trying to secure materials, leading to delays in some instances.