UK-wide Future Trends fell slightly last month, says RIBA

Confidence among practices in Scotland recovered in February but optimism north of the border continues to lag well behind other parts of the country.

The latest RIBA Future Trends index saw the overall score fall from January’s score of +29 to +21.

Scotland recovered to register a score of +0 – from the -25 it posted in January – but this was still some way behind the next most cautious part of the country – the +15 mark recorded for Wales and the West.

Practices in northern England were the most optimistic with a score of +30 with private housing and commercial work remain the most important areas for architects but confidence in the public sector stayed in positive territory for the third month in a row – even  though February’s score of +1 was a fall on the +7 recorded the previous month.

RIBA’s executive director members Adrian Dobson said: “The workload index remains in firmly positive territory, despite some volatility in recent months. This is perhaps more related to general economic uncertainties rather than factors specific to the market for architectural services.”

Practices of all sizes were more optimistic about taking on extra staff in the coming three months and Dobson added: “A number of practices have reported a more stable pipeline of longer term, larger scale projects.”