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  • Output in the construction industry rose by 0.6% in the first quarter, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the ONS. New build work increased by 0.9%, with expansion in industrial and commercial work now emerging alongside continued strength in housing. Growth in repair and maintenance work was positive but more moderate, up by 0.2%. Total construction output was 5.4% higher than the same quarter a year ago.
  • 33,816 new homes were registered in the UK in the first quarter of 2014, a 7% rise on a year earlier, according to statistics from the National House-Building Council (NHBC). The fastest growth in registrations was seen in the West Midlands, North West and Northern Ireland. Greater London continues to account for over a quarter of English registrations. 
  • April’s Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs found that permanent staff placements rose at a strong and accelerated rate in April. Staff availability declined sharply, at the fastest rate since October 2004.
  • The number of homes repossessed in the first quarter of the year was 20% lower than a year ago, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The number of mortgage customers in arrears also fell to a six year low.
  • The UK deficit on trade and goods in services closed slightly to £1.3 billion in March, from £1.7 billion in February. Exports of goods increased by 4.8% from the previous month, ahead of a 2.8% increase in goods imports. 

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