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  • Construction industry output contracted sharply in the three months to February according to ONS statistics, dragged back by deep falls in R&M work and reduced levels of private housebuilding. Output fell by 3.2% compared to the previous three months, with new work output dipping by 0.3% and R&M output declining by 7.7%. This dragged R&M workloads lower than a year earlier for the first time since July 2013. New work (+1.3%) and All work output (+0.3%) remained ahead of a year ago, though in both cases this was the weakest annual improvement since June 2013.


  • UK industrial production remained flat during the three months to February, down 0.2% on the previous period and up 0.7% on a year earlier. Manufacturing, the main sub-sector, was up 0.1% on the previous three months and 1.8% up on a year earlier.
  • Pay for new permanent hires rose at the fastest rate for six months in March, according to a survey of recruiters.  The KPMG/REC Report on Jobs found that hiring of both permanent and temporary staff continued to grow at a marked pace during the month. Numbers of job vacancies rose, while availability of candidates fell, continuing recent trends that have stoked rises in starting salaries.

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