The RIBA Future Trends workload index bounced back a little in July 2017, following a dip in June; the balance figure stands at +14 (up from +10 in the previous month).
Practices outside of London were by far the most optimistic, with the Midlands and East Anglia returning a balance figure of +32.
Practices of all sizes remained positive but large practices (51+ staff) showed the most confidence at increasing future workloads, with a balance figure of +63.
Growth in the value of work in progress, measured on a year-on-year basis, remains at an annualised rate of 1%.
Workload forecasts for all four sectors improved in July, with private housing continuing to lead the way (balance figure +17). The biggest net increase was in the public sector forecast (edging back into positive territory at +3).
The Future Trends staffing index also increased, standing at +10 in July. Large practices were once again the most optimistic about increasing staff levels in the medium-term.
RIBA Executive Director Members Adrian Dobson said, “Commentary from participating practices points to a steady outlook in the medium term but with more uncertainty over the long term. Some of last month’s pessimism seems to have lifted but signals remain mixed.
“Some practices have detected nervousness on the part of developers of larger residential schemes. At the same time we have had the first reports for some time of practices struggling to recruit staff with the skills they need.”