The Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB) State of Trade Survey monitors key indicators and predicted future short-term developments in the UK construction industry. It focuses exclusively on small and medium-sized (SME) firms throughout the sector – the typical firm responding is either a general builder or building contractor directly employing fewer than ten people, and turning over between £100 000 and £500 000 per annum.
SME workloads saw a rise in activity levels in 2Q14 as a significantly smaller proportion of firms reported a fall in workloads (14% vs. 22%), compared to three months earlier, while those respondents registering higher levels edged up, to 40% from 39%. Over the next three months, businesses are predicting an increase in activity levels. Firms anticipating workloads to decline fell, to just 11% from 15% in 1Q14. However, the number of respondents predicting higher workloads ticked up, to 45% from 44%.
The latest regional composite indicators show rising activity in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Scottish net balance experienced the strongest increase while Wales’ net balance registered the greatest deterioration, of 16 percentage points, to +23. Despite this move, it remained in positive territory for the sixth quarter running.
Output prices, wages and salaries and material costs are all predicted to increase over the next six months. The net balance for wages and salaries was the only one to see a rise, as it went up by 5 percentage points to +50, the highest level since 2Q08.
SME employment increases for the second consecutive quarter: While fewer respondents stated that their workforce had decreased (14% vs. 18%), around 61% of firms stated no change in their workforce, up on the 57% registered three months earlier.
Read the full version of the Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB) State of Trade Survey here.
Adapted from report by Rosalie Starling
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/08072014/fmb_releases_state_of_trade_survey_for_2q14_45/