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Builders spring into action with favourable output figures

British construction has emerged from a tough winter as official figures showed housebuilders shrugging off five months in a row of falling output. The construction industry overall saw output bounce 3.9% in March, stronger than expected by most economists. Alongside a 2.3% jump in private housebuilding work over the month, repair maintenance and improvement work also saw double-digit growth. The building industry is still in recession, however, despite March's growth spurt. Over the first three months of the year output fell 1.1%. This marked the second successive quarter of overall decline albeit a smaller fall than the 1.6% originally estimated by the Office for National Statistics. The improved figures could see the UK's sluggish 0.3% growth in the first quarter raised higher if volatile services data are also revised up.

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