On Monday, the FMB’s State of Trade Survey for Q1 of 2017 was released. The quarterly assessment is the largest of its kind in to the SME construction sector around the UK. It has found that smaller construction firms have been enjoying a rise in their workloads. This rise in workload is happening despite the concerns that are growing over the increasing cost of labour and materials. The Federation of Master Builders have released their survey which has shown that the workloads of SMEs have had a most significant rise in their workload since the second quarter of 2016, which was the quarter immediately before the referendum in June.
According to the information released by the Federation of Master Builders, one in tow SMEs in the construction company have predicted that they will see a rise in workloads over the next few months. The research has found that only 5% of businesses are expecting a decrease in growth. Alongside these figures, 85% of the builders have said that they are expecting the price of their materials to go up over the course of the next three months, and 58% of the firms that were involved in the study have said that they have been struggling to hire carpenters following the post financial crisis high.
The survey covers the time period before the announcement for the snap General Election, therefore it is unsure whether this will lower the levels of consumer confidence and effect the reliability of the first quarter survey. However, the news that workloads have risen in every part of the UK is positive for the industry. Also it is reassuring that amidst concerns that consumer confidence may be getting weaker, smaller construction companies not experiencing a drop off yet is a positive sign. It is thought that with the growth in the prices of materials and the construction skills demand getting worse, SMEs would be wise to be cautious in their optimism.