UK: A new survey has revealed that 79% of engineering services firms reported increased or stable turnover in the first quarter of this year.

The sector-wide Building Engineering Business Survey, organised by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), and Scottish electrical trade body SELECT, also revealed that 88% expect their business to increase or remain steady during the second quarter.

Heartened by the results, BESA chief executive Paul McLaughlin said: “We continue to live through a period of unprecedented political upheaval, yet the building engineering services sector remains on track. For nine out of ten respondents to be so upbeat about their immediate business prospects in the current uncertain economic climate is testament to this industry’s resilience.”

Despite business optimism, materials prices continue to rise, with seven in 10 businesses reporting an increase, up from six in 10 during the last quarter of 2016. Half of the firms who responded said the move to Brexit had negatively impacted on materials prices. In addition, half of companies said labour costs had risen, up from four in 10 firms in the previous quarter.

 The Building Engineering Business Survey was completed by BESA, SELECT and ECA members in early April this year, prior to the general election being announced. It received responses from 370 companies across the engineering services sector.