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UK service sector shrinks

There are fears over the economy after figures suggested the service sector shrank last month for the first time in two years. It comes after disappointing construction figures yesterday.

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Construction contraction in December

Figures released yesterday showed the construction sector contracted at its fastest rate in six months in December driven by house building being at its lowest in two years.

Construction contracted in December Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Forecasters had predicted a reading of 49.5 but the index was at its lowest since June, when poor weather and extra public bank holidays dented output.

Construction only accounts for 7% of Britain's GDP but its troubles reflect the weakness in the wider property sector.

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