Am I smiling? Yes I am. Why, given the past six years of subdued economic performance across our region?

Car registration fell off dramatically following the financial crisis as unemployment and income declined and loans became difficult to come by but things can hopefully get better through customer loyalty and a lot of hard work.

Registrations have neared pre-recession peaks in recent months and now the unbelievable has happened. New car sales have leapt in March to record their biggest month in a decade fuelled by demand for new ‘14 registration plates.

March is typically the biggest month of the year and accounts for nearly a fifth of annual registrations.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufactors, the 18 per cent year-on-year rise was down to fuel– conscious motorists looking for cars that can do more miles to the gallon.

Also the rise of finance deals have allowed consumers to lease out a vehicle rather than buying one outright.

All good news for our local franchised dealers. But what about the property market?

It is another key indicator to economic upturn and one of the main purchases in our lives.

House prices have dropped by 1.1 per cent in March, as figures from the UK’s biggest mortgage lender (Halifax) showed.

The recent strengthening in house prices is increasing and I do believe demand will continue, supported by an improving economic outlook, growth in employment, rising consumer confidence and low interest rates.

I have now held this position as President of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce for three months. Probably, at the start, I was questioning what I had let myself in for. But three months on, I can tell you I am enjoying it immensely!

There is so much going on within the Chamber at this present time. We have done so much in three months in being able to restructure. The good times are happening – it can only be good for Dorset !