The majority of Victorian architectural firms are optimistic about business growth for 2014, with 58 per cent of surveyed firms expecting an increase in business activity for this year.

The PACE survey, conducted by Aspect Personal recruitment consultancy, contains over 176 responses from Victorian architectural firms which included the likes of ARM architecture, Jackson Architecture, Six Degrees and John Wardle Architects.

Surveys are conducted at the end of the calendar year and are submitted between December and January. The 2014 PACE Survey shows results from the 2013 calendar year and depicts expectations for 2014.

The findings from 2014 Pace suggest that only seven per cent of surveyed architecture firms are expecting a decrease in business over the coming year, while 35 per cent of practices are expecting their business activity to remain the same.

According to Ben Mitchell, Architecture and Design Team Leader at Aspect Personal, these figures also depict a growth in expected business activity increase compared with last year’s results, which showed only 39 per cent of firms expecting a business increase.

He also emphasised the accuracy of the figures by comparing the results of 2013 figures with the reported expectations from the year before.

 “From the 2012 expectations, which reported a 39 per cent increase in business activity, 35 per cent reported an actual increase at the end of the calendar year,” Mitchell explained.

“So it’s a reasonable assumption that from this year’s 58 per cent expectations, we can expect the actual figure at the end of the year to be a more than 50 per cent increase in business activity.”

But what exactly is characterised as business activity? Mitchell explained that business activity isn’t necessarily an economic number, rather a “base line sentiment” that influences all levels of business.

“Rather than focussing on monetary performance, which most firms wouldn’t unveil anyway, the survey gauges the sentiment of practices and their business confidence,” said Mitchell.

“This could mean anything from the amount of projects they are winning to the exposure they will receive from projects.”