Downturn will decimate construction firms in 2012

Published:  19 December, 2011

LONDON: One in 10 building firms fear they will not survive the predicted sharp downturn in work next year according to a survey by CITB-ConstructionSkills.

The survey of all sizes of contractors from sole traders to major builders revealed that more than half felt that either the next 12 months provided no business opportunities (29%), or that they had know idea where the opportunities would come from (27%).

The Employer Attitudes and Motivations report shows that many firms are already badly weakened by the banking crisis and spending cuts. Nearly half of all businesses surveyed said they had suffered a decrease in turnover in the last year - with income falling by an average of 29%.

Sole traders have been hardest hit, 54% reported a drop in trade, followed closely by small firms employing between two and nine staff, at 48%.

Mark Farrar, chief executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: "It has been another testing year for the construction and built environment industry. Times are tough and businesses need as much support as possible.

"Through listening to employers we know that their main challenges are reducing their expenditure, increased competition for contracts and preparing for new environmental legislation.

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