January 4, 2016 10:15 AM, EST
What to Know About the Government's Latest Construction Numbers

Here’s one key takeaway from the Commerce Department’s report Jan. 4 on U.S. construction spending: The 0.4% decrease in November, which itself was weaker than the most pessimistic Bloomberg News survey forecast, was accompanied by downward revisions to prior months.

The combination suggests some economists may revise down their fourth-quarter GDP tracking forecasts.

• October construction spending rose 0.3%, compared with a prior estimate of 1%, while September outlays advanced 0.2% versus a previous estimate of a 0.6% gain.

• Commerce revised data back to January 2005 to correct an error in the tabulation of private home-improvement spending.

• The decline in November construction spending was the biggest since June 2014 and reflected decreases in outlays for nonresidential and government projects.

• Spending on federal government construction projects dropped 7.2%, the most since May 2014.