Architects remain confident on future workloads
Architects’ confidence in future workload remains positive, according to the latest RIBA future-trends workload index. The index for September 2014 increased marginally to +29, compared to +28 in August, maintaining the consistently strong workload forecast throughout 2014.
Large practices, with over 50 staff, are the most optimistic about the shape of their medium-term order books, with a balance figure of +60. Medium-sized practices with 10 to 50 staff had a balance figure of +37. Small practices with one to 10 staff remain positive about the outlook for future workloads, with a balance figure of +28.
The forecast for the private-housing sector recovered the ground it lost in August, rising from +23 to stand at +30 in September. The forecast for the commercial sector fell back from +23 in August to + 19 in September. However, both the public-sector forecast (balance figure +5) and the community-sector forecast (balance figure +7) saw modest increases.
RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson said, ‘Although the private housing and commercial sectors clearly offer the best current prospects, there is a sense of greater stability in public-sector workloads, with larger practices in particular becoming more optimistic about a more predictable pipeline of public-sector construction expenditure, and modest signs of increasing activity in the community sector.’
He added, ‘Our anecdotal commentary from RIBA members suggests that the overall market outlook for architects’ services continues to improve, with many practices reporting a sustained increase in their overall work levels.’