The trading conditions of small and medium sized construction firms in Northern Ireland fell again during Quarter three 2011. This is the 15th month 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.
The proportion of positive responses increased slightly from 13% in the second quarter of the year to 18%. However, significant negative sentiment remained with 48% percent of respondents to the FMB’s Quarter three 2011 State of Trade Survey, the only survey looking exclusively at small and medium sized building companies, indicated that conditions had declined.
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 final quarter of 2007, 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.”
“The message coming from the Northern Ireland ‘All Party Group for Construction’ is that the programme for government and the NI Economic strategy should have Construction at its centre. The protection of jobs in construction and the safeguarding of skills must be an urgent priority for the Assembly. The objective now is to get work to the market as quickly as possible, simplify bureaucratic procurement and planning processes, commit to the Green New Deal and focus on areas of investment that maximise job creation.”