The recovery in the Irish construction sector gathered momentum in June, according to the latest Construction Purchasing Mangers Index from Ulster Bank.

The index, a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity, rose to 65.7 in June from 63.3 in the previous month

The rate of growth was the fastest since the survey record seen in November 2004. 

Growth in activity in the month was supported by a strong rise in new business and improved market confidence. 

Sharper expansions of activity were recorded across each of the three monitored sub-sectors in June - housing, commercial and civil engineering. 

The strongest increase in activity was again seen on commercial projects where growth was the sharpest since last October.

The rate of job creation in the sector also accelerated in the month.

Ulster Bank economist Simon Barry said that all three sub-sectors of the index registered improvement last month suggesting the renewed pick up is broadly-based.  

He said that "exceptionally strong performances" were recorded in Housing and Commercial activity where in each case growth was close to the record rates seen in the second half of last year. 

More moderate growth was seen in Civil Engineering, though the June survey pointed to a third consecutive month of growth and the best performance since January.  

"There was also a very strong improvement in new business levels which, combined with stronger activity trends generally, have underpinned another very solid month for employment where growth was as its fastest pace since last October," the economist stated.

"Overall, following a notable slowdown in the early months of the year, there has been a marked re-acceleration in the pace of construction activity through the second quarter, thus offering considerable encouragement regarding the sector's momentum as we enter the second half of the year," he added.