Construction spending dropped 0.6% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $900.1 billion from a downwardly revised October estimate of $905.6 billion, its lowest level in more than six years, the Commerce Department reported Monday. The November estimate was a 13.2% decline from the same month in 2008.
During the first 11 months of 2009, construction spending was off 12.7% from the same period in 2008 to $868.9 billion.
Spending on private construction overall was down 0.7% to a rate of $581.2 billion, led by a 1.6% sequential decline in residential construction, which came in at a rate of $250.7 billion. Residential construction had been either up or flat for the previous five months after declining steadily earlier in the year. Residential construction spending peaked at a rate of$676.4 billion in March of 2006.
Nonresidential construction was flat with October at $330.5 billon but still down more than 20% from the pace of November, 2008.
Public construction spending was down 0.4% to $318.8 billion, with education off 0.1% and highway building off 2.9% from October to $87.5 billion.