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Regional focus: East of England

In the East of England all new work sectors with the exception of public housing grew in 2013, resulting in output growth of 13 per cent.

Over the years 2014-16 growth is forecast to be less rapid. In the private housing market the upturn that is now under way is expected to last into 2015, with housing starts forecast to rise from around 13,000 in 2013 to 14,500 by 2015.

Help to Buy accounts for close to 25 per cent of private sales and is evidently allowing people to buy, although not necessarily afford, houses.

In the infrastructure sector workloads increased by 17 per cent in 2013 and are forecast to edge higher in 2014. Work on the proposed £1.5bn A14 upgrade is not expected to have an impact before 2016.

Industrial construction is forecast to increase over the next few years, although the cancellation by Marks & Spencer of its planned £250m distribution centre at London Gateway shows the fragility of investment intentions in this market.

In the commercial market the inflow of work fell back a little in 2013, although the outlook is modestly positive, with a boost from the occasional large project offset by weakness in underlying market conditions.

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