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  • The January Markit/CIPS PMI survey found a mild rebound in construction output growth, after activity in December 2014 rose at the slowest pace in 17 months. However the indicated expansion remained one of the weakest since September 2013, with this month’s reading of 59.1 well below an average of 61.8 for 2014 as a whole. Residential building was the strongest area of expansion. Commercial construction also improved, as did civil engineering workloads which rebounded from a fall seen in December 2014. 


  • A large rise in oil imports, following sharp falls in prices, pushed the UK trade deficit wider in December. The deficit in trade of goods rose by 2.7% on November to £10.15 billion. The volume of oil imports rose by 40% in the month.
  • A monthly survey of recruiters indicates that pay is rising as businesses struggle to find skilled candidates to fill their roles. The KPMG/REC January Report on Jobs found that hiring rose at the slowest pace for 20 months, despite an accelerated rise in the demand for staff. The survey continued to report declining availability of candidates, continuing the trend seen over the last year.
  • In contrast to other indicators, including from Nationwide, the Halifax House Price Index found that growth in UK house prices accelerated in January. According to their estimates house prices rose by 2% in January, taking the rate of annual growth to 8.5%, up from7.8% found in December. 

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