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Construction sector grows at slowest rate in 17 months

The UK construction sector grew at the slowest pace in 17 months in December, due to a slowdown in the rate of expansion of commercial and residential activity. The latest Markit/Cips purchasing managers' index recorded a 57.6 reading, down from 59.4 in November, though remaining well above the crucial 50 mark separating expansion from contraction. David Noble of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply said: 'The sector is still expanding, with the index posting at a higher level than the longer-term average but it has become a victim of its own success as it struggles to keep up with its own speed of recovery.' While house building and commercial construction continued to rise at a solid pace, civil engineering activity fell slightly.

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