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vital statistics

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The uk's creative industries, including architecture, produce an annual turnover of at least £50 billion, and are responsible for the employment of more than 1 million people, according to a survey published by Faber & Faber this week.

More than 1.5 million homes in England are unfit for human habitation - one in 13 - according to the latest five-yearly English survey of house conditions.

The Construction Confederation survey of major contractors suggests that output slowed in the first quarter of this year. Chairman Sir Martin Laing said the London market had now peaked.

Prime shop rents in London's West End have increased by 75 per cent in 18 months, according to the Catella Corporate Intelligence Group rent index. They now stand at £475 per sq ft Zone A.

Wormald Fire Systems, which has been fire-protecting the 26km Jubilee Line Extension since 1994, has used 85km of pipework, 500 hydrant outlets, 2000 sprinklers, 450 control valves, 150 hose reels and 1200 portable fire extinguishers. It is now kitting out the Millennium Dome.

The price of palladium has outstripped platinum for the first time. Palladium, used in the making of mobile phones, laptop computers and car- engine catalysts, reached $417 per troy ounce last week.

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