Britain’s construction sector grew at its slowest pace for nine months in January, according to the latest figures from financial data analysts Markit.

The UK Construction PMI figure fell from 57.8 in December to 55.0 in January, well below the 57.5 forecast by analysts. According to Markit, housebuilders were one of the biggest influences on the slowdown:

“UK construction firms struggled for momentum at the start of this year, with heightened economic uncertainty acting as a brake on new orders”, said Markit economist Tim Moore.

The index showed falling optimism amongst construction companies, to its lowest since December 2014, indicating that construction companies are heading for a relatively weak first quarter in 2015.

German unemployment falls to record low

German unemployment saw a larger-than-expected drop in Janary, signalling a positive start to 2016 in Europe’s biggest economy and providing hope for many.

According to Germany’s Federal Labour Office, seasonally adjusted unemployment declined by 20,000 to 2.732 million, compared to a 7000 drop forecast by analysts.

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