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• Annual growth in the value and volume of retail sales had increased slightly over the past three months. Consumer services turnover growth had also edged higher.
• The recovery in housing market activity had continued.
• Investment intentions had continued to point to moderate growth in capital expenditure in the year ahead.
• Turnover in business services had edged a little higher.
• Manufacturing output for the domestic market had continued to grow steadily. Manufactured exports growth had increased.
• Construction output growth had risen further.
• Credit availability had continued to increase gradually and demand had edged higher.
• Employment intentions over the next six months pointed to modest headcount growth. Recruitment difficulties had edged higher, and were marginally above normal.
• Capacity utilisation had remained close to normal.
• Labour costs per employee had continued to grow moderately.
• Inflation in materials costs and imported finished goods prices had fallen further.
• Output price inflation had edged lower for manufacturing companies, but had risen slightly for business services firms. Profitability had continued to improve overall.
• Consumer price inflation had slowed further, particularly for goods
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