Construction drops to lowest level for 2 years
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by Kay Mitchell
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has discovered that the construction workload in the UK has declined to its lowest level for 2 years.
The decline in construction is further evidence of the slowdown in the UK housing market, according to the FMB, which represents 13,000 building companies.
In its state of trade survey for the first 3 months of 2008, FMB has established that its workloads index have dropped from 6 points in the last 3 months of 2007 to -8 in the first quarter of 2008.
Furthermore, the survey discovered domestic renovation, modernisation and improvement work have all been worst hit with the lowest balance of -38.
Brian Berry of FMB said our survey shows that there has been an obvious downturn in the British economy in general so it is unsurprising that its biggest industry, the construction industry, has felt the force of this.
While the current situation will cause problems for the immediate future, the survey shows it is not a complete disaster with the majority of builders expecting their workloads to remain steady in 2008.
In addition, some construction companies are finding it difficult hiring new staff. However, according to Consumer Direct, some of these problems may not be due to the property market slowdown.
The organisation, which provides impartial advice for disagreements over suppliers of goods or services, received over 19,000 complaints about builders, plumbers, electricians, decorators and other home improvement traders in the first 3 months of 2008.
Earlier this month, a construction market survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), established just 1% more surveyors are reporting an increase in workloads rather than a fall in the first quarter of 2008, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.
Growth in the construction industry has slowed abruptly in the first quarter of 2008, according to David Stubbs of Rics.
Rics concluded by saying private housing weakened in all regions and is now static in London and the south-east, Wales, the Midlands and Northern Ireland.
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