European architects are pessimistic about the economic toll of the current recession and fear it could still worsen, according to the latest quarterly survey from the Architects’ Council of Europe.

The Council’s survey found that just 8% of respondents said they were in a good or very good position compared with 15% when the last survey came out in April.

The survey showed that nearly one in three offices has seen a cut in staff numbers since the start of the economic downturn and about 23% of practices expect staff numbers to decrease further in the next three months.

Immediate increased public investment in sustainable construction and upgrading existing buildings for energy efficiency would show the starting point for recovery, according to ACE and member organisations.

Delays of major development projects in Russia and Dubai have hit European architects hard, according to the report.

The survey will be repeated in September.