It's continued bad news for the construction world with the U.S. Commerce Department reporting that construction projects fell 0.6 percent in November, but the drop is less than predicted from industry experts.
A Reuters poll of industry analysts predicted November's numbers to fall 1.3 percent, meaning construction projects were actually more robust at the end of the year than initially expected.
The Commerce Department also revised October's drop to 0.4 percent from the 1.3 percent reported last month.
But experts warned to not look at the better than expected numbers as an indication that problems in the construction industry are over.
"The fact is we are still talking about negative numbers," Ken Mayland, president of Clearview Economics told Reuters. "Residential construction is down by a huge amount and accelerating to the downside."
The numbers back Mayland's statement with Commerce Department figures showing that residential projects fell 4.2 percent in November - its lowest level since 1999 - and down 23.4 percent during 2008.
One positive was the public sector which saw projects rise 1.5 percent in November. That segment is expected to see its numbers rise into 2009 with the anticipation of large-scale public projects under the incoming Obama administration.
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