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vital statistics

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The average price of buying a house in London climbed by 0.1 per cent in January. The number of sales agreed also went up by 4 per cent, showing further strength in the economy.

Some 45 per cent of British households have access to the Internet.

According to Oftel, there are now 11 million UK households online, compared with 7.5 million a year ago.

The number of foreign tourists visiting the UK last year slumped by 16 per cent to 21.2 million - the largest fall ever recorded. It quates to a loss to the economy in excess of £1.5 billion.

The United States Commerce Department has revealed that US GDP grew by 0.2 per cent between October and December 2001 - signalling an end to recession. Economists had expected a 1 per cent contraction for the quarter, following a 1.3 per cent contraction in the previous period.

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