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July’s Future Trends workload index for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) recovered somewhat following a dip in June, with the balance figure standing at +14, up four from the previous month.

Architects located in the Midlands and East Anglia were reportedly most optimistic about their workloads going into the final quarter of 2017, returning a balance figure of +32 respectively.

Meanwhile architectural practices of all shapes and sizes remained in positive figures, but larger practices with over 50 staff demonstrated the most confidence regarding upcoming workloads, with a balance figure of +63.

Architects’ workloads are forecast to grow across all four sectors, with private housing (+17) remaining the most buoyant. However, the public sector forecast (+3) is worth noting given that it had been in a negative balance in previous indexes.

RIBA’s Future Trends staffing index was also on the up, rising to +10 in July. Larger architectural practices were again most confident about taking on more architectural professionals in the medium-term.

Adrian Dobson, executive director members, RIBA, said: “Commentary from participating practices points to a steady outlook in the medium term but with more uncertainty over the long term. Some of last month’s pessimism seems to have lifted but signals remain mixed.

“Some practices have detected nervousness on the part of developers of larger residential schemes. At the same time, we have had the first reports for some time of practices struggling to recruit staff with the skills they need.”

As a business that works closely with the architectural profession, supplying rooflights for both domestic and commercial projects, we’re very encouraged to hear the levels of optimism around the eastern region. It’s hopeful that the growth in public and private sector workloads will continue into the end of 2017 and beyond into 2018.

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