SOTS Q1 2023 frontcover
FMB State of Trade Survey, Q1 2023

For more than 30 years, the FMB's State of Trade Survey has monitored key indicators and predicted future short-term developments in the UK construction industry. It is the only survey of its kind to focus exclusively on micro, small and medium-sized (SME) firms throughout the construction sector. The survey is dispatched to the entire membership every quarter.

Market conditions

  • There is an overall recovery in enquiry and workload levels for the RMI sector as 14% of members see an increase this quarter.
  • Almost nine in ten (87%) FMB members report an increase in material costs.
  • House building sector is continuing to struggle with more reporting a decline in workload that those seeing more work (-4%). However, this has improved on last quarter where it was -18%


  • At least one in three FMB members reported that they are struggling to recruit carpenters/joiners, bricklayers and general labourers are (41%, 36%, and 31%).
  • Members report an overall net decrease in employment levels in Q1 2023 (-3%).

Impact of changes in prices and costs

  • 87% of members reported that material cost had increased in Q1 2023.
  • Three quarters (75%) of FMB members reported an increase in the prices they charge for work.
  • 45% of members reported that business profits were lower than expected this quarter.
  • 1 in 10 (10%) of FMB members reported that their business is experiencing difficulties and could be at risk of closure.

Download the latest State of Trade survey below. Previous reports are also available for download.

​Previous reports