Ireland’s building industry contracted in March at the slowest pace in almost two and a half years, adding to signs that the country may be emerging from its deepest recession.

A construction index rose to 42.3 last month from 40.4 in February, Ulster Bank said in a monthly report published today. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. The decline is the slowest since October 2007.

Ireland’s economy should return to growth in the second half of this year, the government has said.

bloomberg.com