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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Construction Spending, Manufacturing Data Shows Decline

The Contraction Continues, Chapter 224.

Data just released by the Commerce Department show that spending on construction dropped 1.2 percent in October. Economists expected a drop of .9 percent.

This means that construction companies are reducing the amount they're spending on "spec" commercial and residential building and businesses and homeowners that had planned to expand are now reconsidering it.

Elsewhere, the Institute for Supply Management just released its November numbers, which reflect economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector, and they are grim.

New orders have declined for 12 straight months now, the trade group says, and now stand at their lowest level since 1980.

There is some good news hidden in the bad, though: Commodity prices continue to dive and are at their lowest levels since 1949. Commodities -- oil, gas, corn, soybeans and so on -- are the raw stuff used by manufacturers.

Much like low crude oil prices means cheap gasoline for consumers, low commodity prices translate to better deals at the supermarket and elsewhere.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 1, 2008; 10:21 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: construction, economic indicators, manufacturing  
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