RIBA Future Trends Survey results for April 2012

The Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) Future Trends Survey for April 2012 has revealed that architecture practices are continuing to stay positive about their future workload. The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index for April 2012 stands at +9, a slight drop from +11 in March.

RIBA practices are more confident about their future workloads in 2012 than they were throughout most of 2011. Practices in the majority of UK nations and regions felt positive about their future workload.

The private housing sector remains very positive (balance figure +15) and the key commercial sector continues to sustain an upward trend (balance figure +6, up from +2 in March).

The Future Trends Staffing Index for April 2012 stands at 0, rising marginally from -2 in March 2012. Medium-sized practices (11 – 50 staff) remain the most confident about future staffing levels, returning a balance figure of +7.

RIBA Director of Practice, Adrian Dobson, said:

'Commercial work will be critical to medium term growth for architects; with the on-going fiscal squeeze in the public and banking sectors, it is the corporate sector which is in the strongest position to make capital investments when confidence returns in the wider global economy.

Despite the recent and sustained gains in the workload and staffing forecasts, there is still no sign of a readiness to build up general staffing levels, and larger practices in particular seem to remain cautious about increasing their payroll.'

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • For further press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members.
  • Completed by a mix of small, medium and large firms based on a geographically representative sample, the RIBA Future Trends Survey was launched in January 2009 to monitor business and employment trends affecting the architects' profession.
  • The survey is carried out by the RIBA in partnership with the Fees Bureau. Results of the survey, including a full graphical analysis, are published each month at architecture.com - the survey will be available from 18 May 2012.
  • To participate in the RIBA Future Trends Survey, please contact the RIBA Practice Department on 020 7307 3749 or email practice@riba.org. The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete each month, and all returns are independently processed in strict confidence.
  • The definition for the workload balance figure is the difference between those expecting more work and those expecting less. A negative figure means more respondents expect less work than those expecting more work. This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index, which for April 2012 is +9.
  • The definition for the staffing balance figure is the difference between those expecting to employ more permanent staff in the next three months and those expecting to employ fewer. A negative figure means more respondents expect to employ fewer permanent staff. This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index, which for April 2012 is 0.
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