Getting Graphic is a semi-sort-of-irregular collection of our favorite BIG real estate-related chart(s).
In Floyd Norris’ column this weekend titled Housing Illness Spreading to Rest of Construction lays out the idea that while construction played an important role in the economy in 2007, it was non-residential construction that supported the economy.
Falling residential construction was a major factor in slowing the economy to a tiny 0.6 percent gain, at an annual rate, in the fourth quarter of last year, according to estimates released by the Commerce Department this week. With home prices falling, and new-home sales running at a rate less than half what it was two years ago, that sector’s share of total economic activity has fallen to a 12-year low.
But rapid increases in other construction spending made up for a large part of the decline. Nonresidential construction spending rose at an annual rate of almost 16 percent in the quarter, and local government investment spending — principally on things like roads and schools — climbed at an annual rate of almost 10 percent.
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