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Construction Spending Drops in February

Construction spending fell in February by $11.6 billion, or 1.3%, to $846 billion, a low last recorded in 2002, according to an analysis of new federal figures by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Arlington, Va. Declines occurred relative to both the month before and February 2009 in most categories of private residential and non-residential construction, as well as public construction, according to Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC. "Most of the economy seems to be improving, but construction is falling into an even deeper hole," says Simonson. "Bad weather may account for a small part of February's downturn, but most of the contraction reflects ongoing lack of demand, tight credit conditions, and shrinking state and local budgets."