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  • European construction output fell during 2013, according to estimates from Eurostat. Output in the Eurozone fell by 2.9% over the year in the Eurozone, and by 2.2% across the 28 EU nations. However December’s figures were more positive, with output in December 0.9% higher than November in the Eurozone, and up 1% across the EU28.
  • A survey by the Mineral Products Association showed that materials sales increased during 2013, but still remain around 30% below pre-recession levels. Aggregate sales were 6% higher than 2012, with concrete sales up by 11% and asphalt sales by 4%.


  • The UK unemployment rate during the three months to December 2013 was 7.2%, down 0.4 percentage points on the previous quarter, and 0.6pp on a year ago. There were 193,000 extra employees compared to the previous quarter, of which 172,000 were self-employed.  
  • UK inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, fell to 1.9%, below the Bank of England’s 2% target for the first time since 2009. This was due in part to a strong sterling exchange rate, lowering the cost of imports. Bank of England forecasts suggest the rate will fall further, to 1.7% in March. 

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