East Anglia: Region bucks trend in Federation of Master Builders survey

THE UK’s independent builders have reported a 15th consecutive quarterly fall in workloads – but the East of England is bucking the national trend.

The latest survey by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) shows a balance of minus 24, with the number of members reporting falls in current workloads and expected orders outweighing those reporting increases.

However, although the figure for the third quarter of the year means that the small and medium-sized firms which make up the FMB’s membership have collectively seen their work fall continuously for nearly four years, the East region saw a balance of plus six – the only part of the UK to record a positive figure.

The neighbouring regions of London and the East Midlands were only just in negative territory, on minus 10 and minus six respectively. At the other extreme, the North East recorded a figure of minus 45 and the West Midlands minus 47.

Richard Diment, firector-general of the FMB said: “It is hard to think of another period in living memory when the building industry has been so badly hit by an economic crisis.

“The Chancellor needs to understand that a recovery in the construction sector is essential if it is to deliver economic growth in the wider economy,” said Mr Diment.

The Government’s Green Deal home energy efficiency improvement programme, to be launched next year offered “a glimmer of hope” but without a cut in VAT to help boost consumer demand it was difficult to see any real upturn in building work, he added.