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  • The latest Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 62.6 in November, representing the fastest growth in output since August 2007. This was up from 59.4 the month before. A figure above 50 indicates expansion and, taken with the survey finding from the previous six months, the survey results point to a strong expansion in construction output during the second half of 2013. 

  • A group of major insurers announced their intention to invest £25bn in UK infrastructure projects over the next five years. Specific projects were not detailed but they are looking to invest in energy, housing, transport, health and education projects.
  • The Government published the National Infrastructure Plan, a more detailed pipeline of prospective infrastructure projects from now until beyond 2040. Changes to planning processes were announced to help prevent delays to the government’s ‘Top 40’ and other key infrastructure projects.
  • The Government will create a £1 billion, 6-year programme to fund infrastructure to unlock new large housing sites. This will support the delivery of around 250,000 homes. The programme will begin in 2014-15, with investment decisions on 9 specific sites, capable of unlocking around 27,000 houses.


  • The Office for Budget Responsibility upgraded its expectations of GDP growth in 2013 to 1.4%, compared to the 0.6% predicted in March. Real GDP is forecast to grow by 2.4% in 2014, compared to the 1.8% forecast at the time of the March Budget.
  • The Autumn statement was largely ‘fiscally neutral’, meaning there was little change to overall net spending. There will be cuts to some Government department budgets and a clampdown on tax avoidance, covering the extra costs of a free school meals programme and a tax break for married couples.
  • Business rate rises will be capped at 2% during 2014-15, and Small Business Rate Relief scheme will be extended for another year. 
  • House prices rose 2.1% in the three months to November compared to the previous three months, according the latest Halifax House Price Index. 

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