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  • The CN100 league table, which combines the latest set of financial accounts for the UK’s top 100 construction companies, shows that firms’ profits remain squeezed despite rising turnover. Operating profit across the top 100 companies of £1.5bn was down 16% compared to the previous year’s set of accounts, while combined turnover of £59.1bn was up 1.1% compared to the previous financial years.
  • Construction output in the 28 nations of the EU in January 2014 was 1.3% higher than December 2013 and 7.3% higher than January 2013. 


  • The UK unemployment rate was 7.2% in the three months ending January 2014, according to the ONS, down 0.2 percentage points on the three months ending November 2013 and 0.7pp compared to a year ago. The unemployment rate for those aged 18-24 fell sharply to 17.7%, from 18.6% in the three months to November 2013, and 19.2% a year ago.
  • The gap between high street store closures and openings is narrowing, according to research by PwC and the Local Data Company. 371 more shops closed than opened across Britain’s 500 largest town centres in 2013, compared to 1,779 in 2012. Charity shops, convenience stores and betting shops were among those increasing in number, while banks, women’s fashion and mobile phone shops fell in number. 
  • Gross mortgage lending in February was estimated at £15.2 billion in February by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This was 6% lower than the previous month but 43% higher than February 2013.

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