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  • The value of non-residential construction starts rose by 21% in the final quarter of 2013, according to the January Glenigan Index. This marked the second consecutive quarter of growth in non-residential work for the first time since the first half of 2010. Combined with a strong rise in new civil engineering work, the findings are a further indicator that activity growth has spread beyond the rise in house building. 
  • December’s Markit/CIPS PMI survey continued to show high levels of confidence from UK construction companies, recording 62.1, just below November’s 75-month high of 62.6. The survey revealed 57% of companies expect an increase in output levels during 2014. It also showed that December was the seventh consecutive month of job creation.


  • Business lending fell by £4.7billion in November, according to figures released by the Bank of England. Despite improvements in other economic indicators, lending to businesses was 3.9% lower than the same stage of 2012. Business investment is key to a sustained recovery in economic activity, and these latest figures further add to fears that recent growth has been over reliant on consumer spending.
  • House prices surged by 1.4% between November and December 2013, leaving prices 8.4% higher than at the end of 2012. Mortgage approvals in November rose to the highest level since January 2008, with 70,758 approvals compared to 68,029 in October. House prices and market activity are still below pre-recession levels but the current pace of growth is stoking concerns of a housing market bubble, leaving borrowers vulnerable to a rise in interest rates. 

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