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Construction Spending Lowest in a Decade

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce reported that construction spending during December 2010 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $787.9 billion, 2.5 percent below the revised November estimate of $807.8 billion. The December figure is 6.4 percent below the December 2009 estimate of $841.8 billion. The value of construction in 2010 was $814.2 billion, 10.3 percent below the $907.8 billion spent in 2009. That is the lowest level of construction spending in a decade.

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New Housing Starts Jump

Nationwide housing starts rose 14.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 596,000 units in January, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. The gain was due to a 77.7 percent increase in the multifamily sector, where significant month-to-month swings in activity are not unusual and where new building has been below expectations for the past several months, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Meanwhile, single-family housing starts remained virtually flat for the month, with a 1.0 percent decline.

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