Forty-four percent of FMB members say they have received fewer enquiries

Workloads among small and medium building firms have fallen for the 15th consecutive quarter, according to the Federation of Master Builders’s State of Trade Survey.

Forty-four percent of FMB members said they had received fewer enquiries, and the number indicating an increase in the three months to September 2011 declined to just 20% from 30% in the second quarter of 2011.

The survey showed positive developments in private new housing, where a one-point improvement took the net balance for the sector to -17, its least negative level for 15 quarters.

In the social housing sector, the number of firms indicating a rising workload doubled to 12%. About 34% said their workload had fallen.