Survey shows architects remain positive

A key survey which aims to record architect’s confidence in future prospects dipped slightly in August, but still remains in positive territory, continuing a trend that has been going on all this year.

The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index fell to +22 in August, down just one point from the July figure.

The increased level of optimism is not yet reflected in increased work, however, as actual work in progress remained stable.

But all categories of practice and all UK regions and nations returned a positive score on future workload.

The private housing sector showed most optimism with a score of +22, but the commercial sector, whose optimism has increased all year, recorded a figure of +9.

RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson said this last result was “central to any overall recovery in workloads towards pre-recessionary levels”.

The related Staffing Index also fell slightly in August, down to +3 from +5 in July, but has now remained positive for the whole of this year.

Dobson said this “improving picture” was reflected in practices employing 10% more students than they were a year ago. He said: “The improvement in student employment levels is heartening, given that architecture students were disproportionately impacted by the recession.”

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