19th October 2010 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The workloads of small and medium sized construction firms in Northern Ireland fell again during Quarter Three 2010, and firms in the six counties returned the most negative results anywhere in the SME sector of the UK construction industry for the fifth quarter in a row.
Nearly 55 percent of respondents to the FMB’s Quarter Three 2010 State of Trade Survey, the only survey looking exclusively at small and medium sized building companies, indicated that conditions had declined since the second quarter of 2010.
Maire Nawaz, FMB Northern Ireland Director, said:
“The Comprehensive Spending Review on Wednesday is likely to reveal more public sector cuts which will mean more pain for construction and could see the continuing decline in overall construction activity in the sector accelerate still further. This will be thoroughly demoralizing for many small construction firms that thought that things could not get worse than they are already.”
“The Government is working on the assumption that the private sector will create new jobs to replace those lost due to public cuts but this doesn’t look likely to happen for construction in the foreseeable future. Current estimates of construction industry job losses range from 159,000 to around 300,000 and our survey data shows that workloads for SMEs in all sectors of the construction industry are a long way from the kind of consistent growth that is going to create stable jobs to replace those already lost, let alone those that will be lost as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review and the VAT increase.”