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A record year for UK consultants

Fees earned by UK engineering consultants hit a record £8.6bn last year, a 16% year-on-year increase and a massive demonstration of the sector's rude health.

The 249 respondents to NCE's exclusive Consultants File 2008 survey reported booming workloads, booming profits, increasing margins and a full order book. In addition to impressive fees growth, staff numbers were up 19% to 156,400.

Credit crunch fears may have affected some, resulting in fewer firms predicting an increase in workload than last year, but the overriding message is positive.

Two thirds of consultants are expecting more work in the UK in 2008 than 2007, down on three quarters last year, with those predicting an increase last year now expecting workload to flatten.

Encouragingly, only 3% expect a fall, the same as last year.

Across the European Union, 24% predict growth compared with 37% last year, but less than 1% expect a fall, identical to last year. And in the rest of world 29% predict growth compared with 40% last year. Less than 1% expect a drop, compared with 4% last year.

- For full details see the Consultants File 2008

» www.nce.co.uk/consultantsfile

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