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  • The KPMG Global Construction Survey 2013 reported the construction industry in better shape than over the last 4-5 years, with rising backlogs and healthy margins. Infrastructure and energy projects are expected to drive growth as a result of increasing urbanisation, population growth and economic growth in the BRICS and other emerging economies. However executives from the UK were among the least hopeful of revenue growth. 
  • The Government has released standard legal documents setting out the details of its reformed Private Finance Initiative, dubbed PF2. The Government will be a minority stakeholder in joint ventures set up under the initiative. It will have the right to appoint a director to each company and will take a share of the profits and the risks. The Education Funding Agency has already shortlisted bidders for the first two batches of schools to be delivered under the initiative.
  • Chinese firms have announced two major investments in the UK. Beijing Construction Engineering Group will take a 20% stake in the £800m Manchester Airport City joint venture. The China Nuclear Engineering Group has been cleared to buy into UK nuclear power generation, and is expected to take a stake in a joint venture with EDF to deliver Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, with an estimated construction value of £6bn. 


  • Retail sales during the three months to September 2013 were 1.5% higher than the three months to June 2013. This quarter-on-quarter increase is the largest since March 2008.
  • British SMEs are more confident than at any point in the last three years, and are the most confident of all the Eurozone countries surveyed by Sage. However funding concerns threaten to hold back growth, 54% of respondents said that banks were not doing enough to provide finance, and nearly three quarters said that the government needed to put more pressure on lenders. 
  • The employment rate for June to August was 71.7%, up 0.3 percentage points from March to May. The unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to 7.7%.

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