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Work levels and confidence remain high for UK tradespeople

Screwfix Malvern

UK tradespeople are reporting high levels of work activity in the first half of 2018 with confidence higher than last year.

According to research undertaken independently on behalf of Screwfix, 85 per cent of the plumbers, electricians, builders, carpenters questioned in Screwfix’s Trade Pulse* index, said that as well as working on current projects they also have more lined up.

Amid uncertain wider political issues, this positive outlook is echoed when it comes to the trade’s confidence in the economy. In particular activity levels in May and June indicate a sustained mood of optimism, as the sector was busier than expected, which is excellent news for tradespeople.

Supporting the encouraging outlook, Trade Pulse highlights an increase in the number of UK tradespeople planning major purchases such as power tools, which reflects their confidence in their future business, even during harder economic conditions. Increasing from 25 per cent to 28 per cent, planned major purchases are at their highest level for two years, reflecting a mood of increasing optimism.

Graham Bell, CEO of Screwfix, comments: “We continue to invest to ensure that Screwfix is ready to meet our customers’ needs by providing the right range, at the right price and being conveniently accessible. With such a high percentage of tradespeople with work and new projects in the pipeline, we are ready to meet demand and help trade customers get the job done quickly, affordably and right first time.”

Many of the activities that are monitored by the Screwfix Trade Pulse concerning business activity, such as levels of quoting for new work, investment and financial health, are still at much higher levels than those reported in 2017. Quoting levels for new work have increased, reaching 27 per cent from 21 per cent reported in May 2017. In addition, when asked about workloads, 27 per cent of tradespeople say they are ‘busier than they expected to be’. This compares to 22 per cent a year ago.

In addition, both general economic and business confidence felt by UK tradespeople has been maintained, peaking in April with the highest levels seen for more than 12 months.

“More tradespeople undertaking more jobs, together with full work diaries, is excellent news as we continue to support our busy tradespeople through our compelling proposition of convenience and choice, via our extensive store network and wide product range.” added Graham Bell.

It is clear that the quantity of business opportunities for UK tradespeople continues to be resilient to current uncertainties. Consumers and businesses remain happy to undertake refurbishments, home improvements and new construction projects, a sentiment reflected in the positive activity figures presented by the Screwfix Trade Pulse.

*Screwfix Trade Pulse is an index which surveys more than 500 UK tradespeople to track work levels and optimism among the trade.

Source : Kingfisher Press Release

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17 August 2018

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