The Building Engineering Business Survey received 416 responses from building services contractors and found optimism running high. Some 85% said they expected turnover to increase or remain the same in the next three months. And this was despite the questions being asked just a week after Carillion filed for liquidation.
However, many survey respondents reported that their business costs had risen, with 65% reporting materials price rises and 50% facing labour cost increases. Underlining the continual problem of poor payment practice, more than half of firms said they continue to be paid late on both commercial and public sector work.
The survey was carried out in association with four trade bodies: the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), the Building Engineering Services Association, the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF), and the Scottish electrical contractors’ association (Select).
ECA director of business Paul Reeve and BESA commercial director of Rob Driscoll said: “These figures show that the engineering services sector overall is in confident mood, even against a backdrop of commercial and political uncertainty and rising operational costs. However, the true effect of Carillion’s insolvency on the supply chain is yet to come through.”