THURSDAY 7th JULY 2011 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The trading conditions of small and medium sized construction firms in Northern Ireland fell again during Quarter two 2011. This is the 14th quarter in a row that workloads have declined, and the speed of decline is once again the fastest in the UK according to the latest State of Trade Survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the largest trade association in the UK construction industry.
Around 13% of weighted responses for Northern Ireland were positive; an increase from 10% three months ago, but the proportion of weighted responses that were negative remained unchanged at 48%. While this represents a marginal improvement in the Northern Ireland SME construction sector, these results were still by far the worst reported in the UK.
Maire Nawaz, FMB Northern Ireland Director, said:
“Although these results are slightly less negative than the previous quarter and the least negative overall that we have seen since the second quarter of 2009, we are still a very long way from seeing any kind of growth in the sector and conditions here are once again the worst in the UK.”
“Supporting growth in the construction must therefore be a priority for decision makers in Northern Ireland. The Assembly must implement the three key challenges identified by FMB’s ‘Building for Success’ manifesto. First, building a greener Northern Ireland; SME builders will lead the transition to a low carbon economy but only if steps are taken to incentivize the transformation on NI’s existing building stock. The Assembly needs to support and implement the Green New Deal in the province. Secondly, developing skills and training by encouraging business support and management training for SME construction companies to enable them to stay competitive. Thirdly, creating a new business environment allowing construction SME’s to thrive under NI’s public procurement, regulation and taxation systems.’