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Federation of Master Builders Scotland say Scottish construction SME workload booming at quickest rate since 2007.

Results from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) Scotland State of Trade Survey Q1 has revealed that Scottish construction SME workloads rose faster than at any time since Q4 2007, with one in two construction SMEs predicting rising workloads in the coming months. Only 5% predicted a decrease in activity.

A total of 85% if builders believe that material prices will rise in the next three months and 58% of firms are struggling to hire carpenters, the highest reported level since the financial crisis.

Gordon Nelson, Director of FMB Scotland, said: “Scottish construction SME workloads have now risen for five consecutive quarters and rather than tapering off in advance of Article 50 being served, that growth seems to have accelerated in the first quarter of this year. At a time of growing concern about the strength of the Scottish economy, the robustness of the construction SME sector is a definite good news story. Even more encouragingly, the number of enquiries for future work has risen solidly and one in two firms are now predicting that their workloads will continue to rise in the coming months.” The biggest concern for builders, however, will be the prospect of weakening consumer confidence. The risk of economic uncertainty impacting on consumer spending was already present due to confirmation of the UK’s departure from the EU and the possibility of another Scottish independence referendum in the medium term. Going forward, the industry is hoping that political stability will be re-established as soon as possible as both consumers and businesses respond best to political certainty.”

However, the last three months have not been without struggle, with builders experiencing a sharp rise in material prices since a reduction in the value of the sterling in June last year and the rise in cost of imported materials and products. The skills shortage is also driving up costs of skilled labour.

Source – UK Construction Online

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