Almost half of companies in the UK expect to expand into new offices and factories, boosting the commercial property market, according to the CBI employers’ body. Financial Times

But the survey found that sentiment was markedly less optimistic in banking, finance and insurance – the main drivers behind the City’s office market – while manufacturing and extraction companies also planned to reduce space.

Overall, the survey shows that occupiers of commercial property intend to shrug off concerns about the slowing economy, with 43% planning to expand their property requirements on the back of expected growth in output and employment over the next six months. Just 22% plan to reduce the space they need in the next six months.

There are already signs that manufacturing and finance occupiers are cutting back requirements. Groups in the extraction and manufacturing sectors saw an overall contraction in property holdings over the past half year and expect to continue reducing property space. About half of businesses in banking, finance and insurance would reduce property requirements if they could, while only about a quarter would expand.