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FMB: Small builders see workloads rise

New data from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has highlighted an upturn in workloads for small to medium-sized builders across the UK, pointing to a sustained recovery that could benefit the country as a whole.

Figures published as part of the FMB's latest State of Trade Survey revealed expectations for an increase in workloads and enquiries rose into positive territory during the second quarter of 2013 for the first time since 2007.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said it is an extremely encouraging development that following one of the worst economic downturns witnessed since the Second World War the small builder sector is finally showing signs of recovery.

However, Mr Berry commented: "While these figures are a sign that the worst may finally be behind us, the building trade has a long way to go to get back to pre-2008 levels of employment and output, and there are many hurdles still to overcome. We must not be complacent, as consumer confidence is fragile at best."

He added this latest upturn in sentiment is in no small part a result of many small builders making significant sacrifices over recent years, cutting into their profits to ensure they can maintain workforces and be in a strong position when the economy finally begins to take a turn for the better.

Indeed, Mr Berry noted it is now up to the government to delivery on its commitment to support small builders across the UK, as failure to do so could see the rise in sentiment seen over recent months swing back the other way.

Policies such as the Green Deal and the Funding for Lending scheme have so far got off to a rocky start, but it will be increasingly important for these projects to deliver a boost to both builders and the economy at large over the coming months if a sustained drive towards growth is to be achieved. 

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