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KPMG Survey Points To UK Construction Confidence

A New Survey Released by KPMG Has Shown An Increase In Confidence For The Construction Industry


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

A survey released by consultancy and accounting firm KPMG has found construction companies across the UK are becoming more confident about their growth prospects.

The news comes after a number of recent reports, studies and announcements that have bolstered the government's optimistic view of the economy - including the International Monetary Fund's decision to increase its gross domestic product forecast for the UK in 2014 from 1.5 per cent up to 1.9 per cent.

But KPMG's 2013 Global Construction Survey provides perhaps the clearest indication yet that the construction industry, a sector that has long been popular among SMEs and self-employed contractors, is heading in the right direction.

Some 73 per cent of companies surveyed in the UK said they are either 'positive' or 'very positive' about their outlook for the next two to five years.

However, while this is a massive improvement on previous recessionary figures, which showed little hope for SME construction businesses, British firms still lag behind the Americas in confidence levels, with 91 per cent of companies in this region responding optimistically.

But KPMG posted further good news for the UK economy and said 57 per cent of building or maintenance enterprises expect a growth figure of between one to 25 per cent for their overall operations this year.

Richard Threlfall, UK head of infrastructure, building and construction at KPMG, remarked: "There has been a growing sense in the last couple of months that the worst is over and the results of our survey provide further evidence that construction activity is finally picking up.
"Construction companies now need to invest in growth. What is holding back the industry now is not lack of demand, but the ability of businesses to resource for it and recruit sufficient experienced staff."

While this is good news for SMEs in the construction industry, some 53 per cent of firms surveyed called for greater government investment in infrastructure to further boost growth in the sector.

Expert Opinion
These positive findings back up what we are seeing amongst our clients. We expect that this positive sentiment will continue and hope that it can be converted into actual output. The Government supporting the sector through further investment would be very welcome and it’s not surprising that over 50% of SMEs in the construction sector are calling for this.

“Increases in construction activity can however often result in an increase in disputes. It is vital therefore that as opportunities in the market increase, SMEs protect themselves by taking the right advice to ensure that contractual documentation is in order. Early advice may prevent problems at a later stage."
Steven Beahan, Partner