July survey revealed fewer firms expected a decrease in workload than in the previous month, and 11% of practices expected staff levels to rise in next three months

Architects have become more upbeat about future workloads, according to the latest Future Trends Survey by the RIBA.

The monthly survey of practices revealed that 18% were expecting a decrease in workload in July compared to 21% in June. In addition, practices predicting an increase in workload rose from 27% to 31% over the same period.

Figures relating to employment also showed strengthening confidence. The number of staff that are currently underemployed fell from 23% to 22%. Some 11% of practices expect staff levels to increase over the next three months, compared to 8% in June.

But Adrian Dobson, director of practice at the RIBA, said confidence within the architectural profession was not uniform across the country. He said: “Practices based in London and the south east currently much more confident about some recovery in workloads than practices elsewhere in the UK.”

The figures coincide with optimistic predictions in other surveys. The latest Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) survey of members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) working across all business sectors showed the biggest improvement since the survey began in 2003; 41% of senior business professionals were more confident about economic prospects facing their business in the next year.