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Building services growth slows down

UK: Over a quarter of engineering services firms say turnover decreased during the first quarter of 2018.

The figures are revealed in the quarterly sector-wide Building Engineering Business Survey. It is conducted amongst members of the Building Engineering Services Association, the Electrical Contractors’ Association, Scottish Electrical Trade Association and the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation.

The 28% of firm who reported a decline in turnover is the highest reported fall since Q1 2016, when 33% of respondents reported a fall in turnover since the previous quarter.

Despite this, the overall outlook for the current quarter (Q2 2018) is positive, as 86% of businesses said they expect turnover to increase or remain the same, compared to Q1 2018.

Ongoing issues, such as poor payment practices (60% of commercial work was paid later than 30 days after completion), and one-off events, such as unusually adverse weather conditions (34% said this had impacted productivity), likely served as contributing factors to some of the slowdown in growth.

BESA’s head of legal Debbie Petford said: “The construction industry is facing very tough times, with greater demands to complete projects faster, cheaper and to higher standards. There were some significant blows to the industry this year, with Carillion, the Beast from the East and the impact of Grenfell Tower still being felt; but the industry will continue to work hard, grow and deliver.”

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