Continuing decline in Irish archaeological activity outstrips the decline in construction

Licences chart

Chart of the percentage decline in archaeological licences and building output by volume 2007-12.

In my last post I noted that archaeological excavation licences issued in the Republic of Ireland in 2012 had fallen by 18.6% from the number issued in 2011. I suggested that this indicated that both archaeological and related construction activity had continued to decline in 2012. This has now been confirmed by the publication by the Central Statistics Office of the provisional 2012 Seasonally Adjusted Indices of Production in all Building and Construction. This records a reduction of 7.8% in the volume of construction output for 2012. This indicates that while construction activity has declined for six consecutive years since 2006 the rate of decline is now slowing. A worrying trend is that the rate of decline in archaeological activity has barely slowed and is now running at more than twice the rate of the decline in construction activity. This may indicate that there are other factors causing the decline of archaeological activity other than just the aggregate decline in construction activity.

Next month I will be presenting the first results of the quarterly tracking of archaeological activity that was commenced in 2012. The current evidence is that these figures will indicate continuing decline in activity in the sector in the first quarter of 2013.

Cite this post as:

Mount, C. 2013. Continuing decline in Irish archaeological activity outstrips the decline in construction. The Charles Mount Blog, 22 March 2013.

Analysis of excavation licensing figures for 2011 correctly predicted reduction in construction output.

Central Statistics Office

The Central Statistics Office in Dublin

In my blog post of 12 January 2012 Excavation Licenses indicate continued reduction in archaeological and construction activity in 2011” I noted that a reduction in archaeological excavation licenses issued in 2011 of 19.6% would indicate a similar drop in the Production and in Building and Construction Index (PBCI) compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The CSO published the PBCI and their final figures for 2011 on 15 June 2012 and these figures do indeed indicate a drop from 28.3 to 23.4 in the volume of production, an annual reduction of 17.3%. This maintains the high level of correlation between the Excavation licensing figures and the CSO PBCI and supports the predictive validity of the excavation licensing index.

Site this post as:

Mount, C. Analysis of excavation licensing figures for 2011 correctly predicted reduction in constriction output. The Charles Mount Blog, 27 June 2012.

Early indicators suggest that activity in the Irish archaeological and construction sectors continued to decline in the first quarter of 2012: updated

Excavation licenses 2000-2011

Excavation licenses 2000-2011

Update 14/5/2012

There was no sign of recovery in April as The Irish Construction PMI published by Ulster Bank posted another fall, declining to 45.4 in April, from 46.7 in March. This is the sharpest rate of decline in the sector since October 2011 and suggests archaeological activity in Ireland is continuing to fall. See true economics.

In my last blog post on archaeological licensing I noted that archaeological excavation licenses indicated that in 2011 archaeological activity in Ireland continued to contract for the fifth year. There was a reduction of 19.6% from 694 licenses in 2010 to 558 in 2011. There was also a reduction in the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Volume of Production Index in Building and Construction from 28.2 in 2010 to 23.5 in 2011 a drop of 16.7% . Continue reading