And, here’s another one, from a different source ….
By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch, April 1, 2011, 11:04 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Construction spending tumbled in February to the worst rate in more than 11 years, reflecting the dire state of the housing market.
Construction spending fell 1.4% on the month and 6.8% from 12 months ago to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $760.6 billion, the Commerce Department said. January’s data also was revised lower, to a drop of 1.8% vs. the original estimate of a 0.7% fall
Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.1% rise in spending.
The housing market is at best bouncing along the bottom, with both existing- and new-home sales falling sharply in February.
Private construction fell 1.4%, with residential construction slumping 3.7% on the month, though nonresidential construction improved 0.9%.
New private single-family construction dropped 1.7% and multi-family construction edged 1.5% lower.
Public construction fell 1.3%, with residential skidding 6.4% and water supply construction down 6.1%.
“The past few months have been calamitous for new-build activity, which has dropped at a 28% annualized rate in the three months to February compared to the previous three months,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. “It can’t go much lower and should start to rebound as surging payrolls lift sales activity.”
Other economic reports released Friday were positive, with the unemployment rate falling to 8.8% and a manufacturing gauge showing strong growth in March.