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Survey highlights

Construction output in the second quarter of 2004 was 1 per cent higher than the previous quarter and 4 per cent higher than the second quarter of 2003.

Construction output is forecast to increase by 3.4 per cent this year, by 2.7 per cent in 2005 and by 3 per cent in 2006.

Skilled labour costs rose by 0.8 per cent during the past three months and by 5.5 per cent since September 2003.

Materials prices rose by 2.5 per cent in the past three months and by 13 per cent since September 2003.

Structural steel prices rose by 5.2 per cent in the past three months and by 18 per cent since September 2003.

Reinforcement prices rose by 3.1 per cent in the past three months and by 38 per cent in the year to September 2003.

Private commercial work is set to slow by 5 per cent in 2004, increase by 1 per cent in 2005 and by 5 per cent in 2006.

Infrastructure output is forecast to rise by 1 per cent this year, show no change in 2005 and rise by 3 per cent in 2006.

Investment in health and education means the public non-housing sector output will rise by 12 per cent this year, 10 per cent in 2005 and 5 per cent in 2006.

Tender prices are forecast to rise nationally by 3.6 per cent in the next year and by 3.2 per cent in the year to the third quarter of 2006.

Tender prices in London are set to rise by 4.6 per cent in the next year and by 4.2 per cent the following year.

Civil tender prices are forecast to rise by 4 per cent during the next year, with a further 4-6 per cent rise in the year to the third quarter of 2006.

The underlying rate of retail price inflation is expected to run at 1.6 per cent this year and 1.6 per cent in 2005.

Economic growth in the UK is set to rise by 3.3 per cent this year and by 2.6 per cent in 2005.

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