Strong rises in public and private sector construction reported

The rate of total commercial activity growth reached its highest for three years in March according to data from Savills Commercial Development PMI. The Commercial Activity Index registered 66.2 in March, up from 61.2 in February, the second highest reading in the survey's history.

Willis Building

Commercial developers reported an increase in private and public sector activity, with the rate of expansion in the public sector the sharpest for a year. The strongest increase in activity was for private sector new build projects.

The March data also showed an upturn in the amount of work on refurbishment and industrial projects. Commercial developers also indicated that the most marked expansion of activity was outside London and the South East.

The next three months will see a further rise in development activity, with the strongest degree of business optimism found in the office construction sector, according to the developers surveyed.

Commenting on the survey, Mat Oakley, head of Savills' Commercial Research department said: "With every single area of commercial property reporting higher levels of activity in March then in February, it is eveident the spring ahs hit the property developer with a boost of enthusiam. While London and the South East have dominated the recent development boom, this month's data showed that activity has started to accelerate across the UK."