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vital statistics

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Workers feel their talents are not being used to the full, a survey by human resources consultancy Chiumento has found. More than one in five said they wanted more challenging work and thought they could play a bigger part in their organisation.

Retail sales surged ahead by 1.5 per cent in February.

The Office for National Statistics said it was the strongest monthly rise since January 2000, when sales rose by 1.9 per cent.The increase is ahead of forecasts and could fuel fears of interest rate rises.

Britain's homes are now worth £2.1 trillion.The value of housing stock has almost doubled since the stock market crash of the early '90s.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research found little evidence that homeowners were overstretched, with mortgages totalling only £606 billion or 28.7 per cent of the value of the property against which they were secured.

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