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  • National Statistics reported that construction output continued to fall in February, on a volume basis all work including RM&I was down 7% compared to February last year, all new work fell at a faster rate down 8% for the same period.
    • Steep declines recorded across many sectors including both private and public housing which fell 7% and 8% respectively. Steep declines were recorded in other public new work as well as commercial and industrial new work.
    • Infrastructure was the only sector to see gains in output, new work increased by 1% from last year.
    • RM&I work saw gains from infrastructure and other public works both up 4%, falls in output were recoded across all other sectors.
  • The RICS house price balance reported last week a net balance in March of -1, i.e. only 1% more surveyors saw prices falling than rising in the month, adding further weight that house prices could be on the rise again.
  • Rightmove reported that new seller prices increased by 2.1% in April from March fuelled by seller shortages and positive market sentiment.


UK Economy

  • Retail sales as reported by the British Retail Consortium grew 1.9% on a like-for-like basis in March, weaker than February’s 2.7% increase but described as encouraging by the BRC especially in light of the months poor weather.
  • The ONS reported that both production and manufacturing fell in February compared to February last year, down 2.2% and 1.4% respectively.
    • Manufacturing declines fell fastest in the petroleum products sector, a result of declines in overall UK oil output.
  • Coinciding with the poor manufacturing data the trade deficit worsened in February to £3.6bn from £2.5bn in January. The wider deficit is due to fewer exports of consumer goods, chemicals and oil.




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