Builders cut back on new projects at a faster-than-expected pace in February and drove down construction spending to the lowest level in eight years. It was a fresh sign that the troubled real-estate market remains a sore spot for the economic recovery.
The government says construction spending fell 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $846.23 billion, the lowest point since November 2002.
Economists were predicting builders would pare spending by 1 percent. It was the fourth straight month spending dropped, and the weakness was widespread.
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