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Vital statistics

Millions of people in the UK have admitted to Mori pollsters that they have an increasingly important relationship with their computers.Two in five 'feel lost'without their PC and one in seven admit that they talk to it.

More than 12,000 people went to hospital last year with injuries picked up from slipping on wooden floors, compared with just 2,000 five years ago.The explosion is being blamed on the increasing popularity of both DIY and interior decoration television programmes.

Some 7 per cent of building contractors reported above-normal order books in 2003, while 56 per cent expect to increase output during 2004, according to the latest Construction Industry Trading Survey.

Research carried out by Country Life magazine has shown a dip in the number of country houses hitting the real-estate market.The number of homes for sale dropped by 15 per cent in 2003, while vendors were also expected to accept offers of up to 10 per cent lower than the asking prices.

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