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  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) preliminary estimate of GDP states that construction industry output fell by 0.5% in Q2 2014 compared to the first quarter. However these early estimates are subject to change as more surveys are collected; the preliminary estimate for the first quarter of this year was 0.3% growth, this has subsequently been revised upwards significantly to 1.5%. The early estimate implies that output in the second quarter was 4.9% higher than a year earlier, which would be the weakest rate of annual growth seen since Q2 last year.
  • Research by HomeTrack suggests that UK house price growth is slowing. Their survey of estate agents found that prices rose by just 0.1% in July compared to June, the slowest rate of growth since February last year. Their research suggests that prices in the capital may begin to stabilise- prices there were unchanged for the first time since December 2012. The HomeTrack survey has recently reported lower price gains than official statistics and other house price indices, however this stall does follow a pause in numbers of mortgage approvals seen in recent months after the introduction of tighter lending standards.


  • UK GDP grew by 0.8% in the second quarter, taking it above the previous peak in Q1 2008, according to the ONS’ preliminary estimate. The UK’s dominant services sector drove this growth, rising by 1%, while industrial production rose by a more modest 0.4% and construction output fell. This mirrors the longer term trend; while services output is now around 3% above 2008 levels, construction and industrial output remain about 10% lower than previous peaks. Moreover, population growth means that while GDP has now recovered all the ground lost in the recession, GDP per head is around 6% lower than before the crash.
  • Retail sales volumes in Q2 2014 were 1.6% higher than in Q1 and 4.5% higher than a year ago, according to the ONS. This rate of annual growth was the strongest seen since the end of 2004, despite a fall seen in June that is likely to be due in part to consumers being otherwise occupied by the Football World Cup.

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