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  • Official statistics reported that house prices in the 12-months to February increased by 1.9%, down from the 2.2% increase seen in the 12-months to January of this year.
    • Over the year to February the largest rise in house prices was in London, where prices increased by 6%, this was followed by Wales, where prices were up 4.1%.
    • The largest fall was in Northern Ireland where prices fell by 7.7% over the 12-month period.

UK Economy

  • Inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index remained unchanged from February this March with an annual increase of 2.8%.
    • The largest upward pressure on the index came from the recreation and culture sector where prices of audio-visual equipment, books and newspapers all increased. The largest downward contributions came from furniture and furnishings, motor fuels and meat.
  • The latest labour market indicators from the ONS point to a stalling of Britain’s recent jobs recovery. For the December-February period the employment rate remained virtually unchanged from the September-November period last year at 71.4%. Unemployment over the period increased by 70,000, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.2 percentage points to 7.9%.
  • ONS retail sales data showed that the quantity brought in the retail sector declined by 0.5% in March compared to March 2012. March 2013 was the second coldest on record and the ONS believes this negatively affected sale of non-food items.



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