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More Optimism Among Scottish Construction Firms

According to the recently released results of a new survey, Scottish construction firms are more optimistic than they were last autumn.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found an overall strengthening in growth expectations after a post-Brexit decline in outlook.

There was a forecast of growth this year in profit, workloads, and employment. There were, however, concerns raised over the current shortage in skills.

The UK Construction Market Survey carried out by RICS found that expectations for workload growth improved significantly in the fourth quarter, while 20% more respondents said that they anticipated a growth in employment in 2017.

The survey noted that the Scottish construction sector experienced modest growth in the last quarter of 2016, with 7% more respondents reporting that their workloads had increased.

The biggest driver of growth was the private industrial sector, where 23% of respondents indicated that they had experienced an increase.

 

Specialists in Construction Insurance

Private housing and private commercial growth also went up in the last four months of 2016, but activity in public non-housing works decreased during the same period.

Survey respondents warned that skills shortages were limited growth, with half of them citing a dearth of quantity surveyors.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said that the latest survey results suggest that the construction sector has minimised concerns about the effect of the referendum with important workload indicators staying level across the UK.

Mr Rubinsohn added that feedback about the outlook over the coming year was now better than it had been in the autumn, with more activity expected as 2017 progresses.

He pointed out that uneasiness remains about the availability of skilled labour and financial limitations will continue to be a key challenge for several businesses. There are also indicators that a decrease in the number of quantity surveyors was also affecting the development process at present.

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