Consulting engineers see continued market stabilisation and their outlook is positive   

The latest sector review from the European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations (EFCA) shows a general improvement of the European market.

Anya De Bie, Chair of EFCA’s Barometer task group commented the release of the latest EFCA Barometer, which shows biannual trends and expectations amongst European consulting engineers.

“In general,” says Ms De Bie, “the sector is reflecting the growth of European economies, particularly the level of investment in gross fixed capital formation.”

Market signals are positive: thirteen out of 21 countries have seen an increase in the average order stock of the consulting engineering companies. In addition, fourteen out of 21 countries expect the total turnover of the consulting engineering industry in their country to increase, while profit-ratios are to remain stable or increasing. Finally, there is an expectation that numbers of staff will increase in eleven out of 21 countries.

The sector is influenced by budget constraints of the governments across Europe, as the public sector has reduced its investments, the market for engineering services is affected. However, despite the retraction in the public market, order stocks of many consulting engineering companies are growing due to an increase in private sector demand. The most significant effect of this is, that across the European continent, an increasing number of companies encounter difficulties finding qualified staff.

Ms De Bie added that “the main challenges as perceived by the sector are low fees, lack of qualified staff, lack of investments, bidding cost and BIM. Moreover, political uncertainty is affecting the market, because some factors are not predictable such as the Brexit-related uncertainty, the general election in Germany, the geopolitical tensions and security threats in Europe.”

Spring 2017 Barometer Report