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  • Latest GDP figures estimate that between the third and final quarter of last year construction sector output grew by 0.3%, following a decrease of 2.5% between the second and third quarter.
  • According to figures from the BBA, net mortgage lending was £600m in December up from £200m in November, in a further sign that activity is returning to the housing market. Approvals for house purchase of 33.6k were roughly flat compared to November, but still well above the average of the preceding six months of 30.9k. 
  • Right Move house price index suggests the market in England and Wales is thawing as prices creep up 0.2% in January compared to December.

UK Economy

  • The UK economy risks slipping back into recession as fourth quarter GDP data showed that output contracted by 0.3% between the third and fourth quarter.
    • Output in the production industries is estimated to have slipped by 1.8% compared to the third quarter.
    • Service industry output is estimated to have been flat in the fourth quarter compared to the third.
  • Employment continues to be strong, hitting an all-time high in the three months average for November, over 500,000 more people are now in jobs compared to the same period last year, up 90,000 compared to the three month period to August.
    • Unemployment also fell from the preceding period, down 185,000 compared to the same period last year, shifting the unemployment rate down 0.1pp to 7.7%.
    • However pay was up only 1.5% compared to the same period last year.

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