Construction Activity Recedes in February 2012, Putting a Damper on a Hopeful Start to the Year

Despite a previously aggressive outlook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, construction spending fell again for the second straight month in February of 2012.  In the second month of the year, construction spending fell by the largest amount in seven months. Widespread weakness in spending on home building, office construction and government projects was reported.
On Monday, April 2, 2012, the Commerce Department disclosed that construction spending fell 1.1 percent in February after dropping 0.8 percent in January.  Construction spending now stands at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $808.9 billion, which is 6.1 percent above the low hit in March 2011 and, but approximately one-third lower than the highs of the housing boom.
The recent report highlights the weakness in the nation’s construction industry, which was hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis, and has been one of the last industries to show any type of real recovery.