The MCA’s UK Consulting Industry Half Year Report 2010, to be published later this week, found that the UK consulting sector grew 6 per cent in the first half of 2010 compared with the previous six months. This performance is a significant improvement on the same period in 2009 when the industry contracted by 2 per cent.
Overseas demand for UK consulting services also increased, with continental Europe not only the most important overseas market for consultants, but also the source of greatest growth, with 40 per cent of firms seeing increased growth here. In the first half of 2010, continental Europe increased its use of UK consultants by 25 per cent, compared with Asia Pacific – 18 per cent, and Africa – 13 per cent.
Alan Leaman, Chief Executive of the MCA said:
“This is a successful start to the year for the consulting industry, and anecdotally firms are reasonably confident that growth will continue through the second half.
Whilst demand in the public sector is likely to be lower than in previous years, we expect this fall to be more than offset by growth in other sectors, especially financial services. Services which suffered during the recession, such as strategy, change management and HR consulting are already showing signs of recovery, and this looks set to continue.”
MCA member companies expect continued growth across all parts of the private sector, but financial services is expected to be the strongest market, with 57 per cent of MCA member firms expecting demand in the second half of the year to be up by more than 5 per cent, over and above the growth seen between January and June. No firms expect levels of work in this sector to fall, whereas 18 per cent felt it would fall last year.
The report, however, states that there are several reasons for the consulting industry to remain cautious including uncertainty over public sector cuts.
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