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Cold snap hits builders

THE construction sector saw the fastest level of job cuts for seven months as the harsh winter caused a slowdown in business.

The latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index) fell for the fourth consecutive month, down from 41.7 points to 40.6 -- the strongest monthly fall since May 2010.

Ulster Bank's chief economist Simon Barry said it was clear that the sector continued to face ongoing declines across the three main sub-sectors -- housing, commercial and civil engineering.