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vital statistics

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The Institute of Civil Engineers has announced that the backlog of maintenance work on British roads is increasing and it will take £7.5bn to put it right.

This amounts to approx £120 for every man, woman and child in the UK.

April saw the biggest monthly increase in construction business activity in almost a year.The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply's headline activity index stood at 56.6 in April - a rise of 0.4 on the previous month.This represents the strongest monthly rise since July.

Homes in the UK are the smallest in Europe, according to a survey carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research for the Bradford and Bingley.The report claims the average British living space is 12 per cent smaller than in Spain,14 per cent smaller than in Germany and 16 per cent smaller than in France.

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