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vital statistics

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Some 144,000 planning applications were lodged with planners in the third quarter of 2001.This was a five per cent increase on the same period in 2000.

In the same quarter, 141,000 planning decisions were made - the highest total since 1989.

The UK's GDP growth for 2001 is forecast to hit two per cent - the highest growth rate of any G7 nation.

It will be the first time the UK has been lead economy since 1986.The trend is expected to continue, with a projected 1.8 per cent growth for 2002.

UK water transport accounted for eight per cent of goods lifted, measured in tonnes, and 33 per cent of goods moved, measured in tonne-kilometres, in 2000.

London is the fifth most expensive city in the world to visit or live in, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit.Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong and Oslo were the top four. London's ranking was the highest in 10 years.

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