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Construction Spending Falls Less Than Expected

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction spending fell less than expected in November as record activity on nonresidential projects helped offset another steep decline in housing.

The Commerce Department says construction spending dropped by 0.6 percent in November, less than half of the 1.3 percent decline economists expected. A 4.2 percent fall in housing construction was partially offset by a surprisingly strong 0.7 percent rise in nonresidential activity.

But economists expect housing, which has been in a slump for two years, will continue to struggle. They also are concerned that nonresidential projects will falter as developers deal with a severe financial crisis making it hard to get financing amid a recession that has curbed the appetite for new shopping centers and office buildings.

This program aired on January 5, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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