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vital statistics

The impending war with Iraq has damaged the confidence of 70 per cent of Londoners in the capital's housing market, a new survey by website Rightmove has found.

In the next financial year 27 per cent of the UK's small and medium-sized firms intend to invest in new computer technology in an effort to improve efficiency, according to a survey of 200 companies for BT Openworld.

Spelling mistakes and poor grammar cost Britain's businesses £700 million a year in lost customers and severed working relationships, research by the Royal Mail has revealed.

It also found that 31 per cent of customers stopped using a company in 2001 citing 'shoddy communications'.

Construction giant Laing has reported losses of £18.6 million in 2002, an improvement of £11.7 million on the firm's performance in 2001.

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