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JOHANNESBURG - The Afrimat Construction Index, a composite index of the level of activity within the building and construction sectors, increased for the second consecutive quarter in the fourth quarter of last year. 

Compiled by economist Roelof Botha, the index increased by 1.9 percent to 125.4 points in the fourth quarter. 

This improvement in the index, calculated from nine different constituent indicators, was largely driven by increases in the values of buildings completed by major municipalities, retail sales values for hardware, glass and paint, and the sales value of building materials produced. 

The index reached an eight quarter high of 127points at the end of 2016. 

It has expanded by 25.4percent since the base period of the third quarter of 2010, substantially higher in real terms than the rate of growth of 15.8percent for the economy.