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  • The February Glenigan Index saw construction starts fail to record growth for the third consecutive month, as new civil engineering activity contracted and other industry sectors only just matched the levels of starts of a year ago. The private housing, industrial and hotel and leisure sectors were bright spots, though declining social housing, education, health and civil engineering starts dragged the Index 2% lower than the same three months a year ago. The index covered the total value of schemes starting on site between November 2014 and January 2015 with construction values between £250,000 and £100 million.
  • The UK construction industry will need to recruit almost 45,000 new workers per year for the next five years, according to the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) 2015 Construction Skills Network report. The report forecasts rising demand in every UK region, for the first time since the economic downturn. 


  • UK GDP grew by 2.6% in 2014 with growth of 0.5% in the final quarter of the year, according to the preliminary estimate by the ONS. This annual growth fell short of forecasts made earlier in the year, however is likely to confirm the UK as the fastest growing of the world’s industrialised countries in 2014. The preliminary estimate of construction growth in the final quarter was a contraction of 1.8% on the previous quarter. This early estimate will be subject to revision, though the latest monthly figures for November and October output were similarly negative. Indeed falling construction volumes were the main drag on UK GDP in the final quarter, with the UK’s service sector retaining its 0.8% pace of growth. Manufacturing output also fell back, by 0.1%, after a 0.2% expansion in the third quarter.
  • UK House price growth continued to moderate in January, according to the Nationwide House Price Index. Prices were 6.8% higher than a year ago, a rate which has consistently fallen from a peak of 11.8% in June. However prices are still rising; by 0.3% in January compared to December 2014. If sustained, this level of growth would result in annual price growth of around 3.5%, still above current rates of inflation and wage growth. 

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