Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the construction sector are in a “perilous situation”, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said.
Responding to the latest Office for National Statistics report on construction activity during the second quarter of 2011, the FMB noted SMEs have suffered a “sharp decline” in workloads.
There was a 6.1 per cent quarterly decline in repair and maintenance projects for public housing and a 2.5 per cent fall in these jobs for private accommodation, resulting in an overall drop of 3.2 per cent.
“For the many thousands of small businesses in the construction industry, this type of work is their main source of income,” FMB director general Richard Diment said.
New work rose by 2.4 per cent, but compared with the same period 12 months ago fell by 0.6 per cent.
“More significant levels of growth are needed” if the industry is going to recover from the “dreadful decline” experienced at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, Mr Diment stated.