These two indicators, which measure demand and production respectively, closed the second quarter of 2015 with growth of 1.0% and 1.5% respectively “which had not happened since 2007” the federation statement said.

“In this context, it is hardly surprising that managers in the sector feel more optimistic in June 2015 than in the same month of 2014 and reflected in positive trends in the indicators for levels of confidence (16.3%), levels of activity (13.3%), portfolios (37.5%) and the financial positions (4%),” the federation continued.

The statement also detailed how the same period had seen a 31.4% rise in the number of property transactions and a 58.6% spike in mortgage lending to total 1.665 billion off the back of a 2.4% rise in bank mortgage evaluations.

Furthermore, construction sector employment recorded a 4.8% annualised increase in the second sector and adding 12,800 jobs to the 264,800 employed twelve months earlier.

Nevertheless, there were still clouds over the sector with credits granted to construction companies down by 10.9%in June with bad loans continuing to rise and now accounting for 32% of all loans made to the sector.

According to FEPICOP, whilst new construction licenses were up 5.8%, there were declines in the number of state construction projects, dropping 4.2% to total 7,579 projects with their average value also falling from €141 thousand to €79 thousand and representing an overall fall of 35% in the construction work tendered over the first six months of this year closing the second quarter with a total value of €517 million.