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Business picks up for consultants

27 November, 2007

UK consultancy and engineering firms are experiencing increasing workloads in a buoyant sector, according to the 2007 State of Business survey, produced by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE).

During 2007, 74% of 121 firms taking part in the survey reported a growing workload, more than half of them seeing their business increasing by more than 5%.

ACE State of Business report

The report, now in its third year, analyses trends in workloads and performance in specific sectors and details the expansion of the UK business into overseas markets.

The proportion of turnover generated through work in international markets has increased dramatically over the past year, from 11.5% in 2006 to 56% in 2007. Part of this increase may be due to more large firms taking part in the ACE survey. The largest firms surveyed reported that international projects account for more than one third of their turnover.

For the second year running, consultancy and engineering firms highlight skills shortages, delays in payments by private clients, and low fee levels, as their top three concerns. The larger the firm, the more acute the concern about skills shortages.

ACE represents more than 800 member firms that employ more than 70,000 staff. It covers all areas of consultancy and engineering, with manufacturing representing around 24% of its member firms.

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