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vital statistics

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Two-thirds of London's fires were started deliberately last year. Arson attacks were made on 5,000 properties and 7,000 cars.

Eighty schools were also targeted, costing local authorities £100 million.

The Construction Products Association estimates that output this year will increase by 1.4 per cent compared with last year.The association says output will rise by 2.8 per cent next year and a further 3.5 per cent in 2003.

Stress-related illness costs 6.5 million working days each year, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

This costs employers £370 million a year - and society as much as £3.75 billion.

Tender prices have risen well ahead of inflation, according to the RICS. In the year ending March 2001 tender prices rose by 7 per cent, compared with inflation of 2.2 per cent.

Material costs rose by 1.8 per cent and wage rates rose by 5.9 per cent.

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