Defense contracts drop 66 percent

Contract awards coming from the Pentagon dropped to $8.44 billion in January, the lowest point in nearly two years, according to an analysis from Bloomberg News.

The $8.44 billion in January contract awards was a 66 percent drop from December, which is the end of the Pentagon’s first quarter.

January is typically a slow month for Pentagon contracts, but $8.44 billion is well below the $12.1 billion awarded in January 2013, according to the analysis.

None of the contracts awarded in January topped $1 billion.

Part of the reason for the slowdown was due to the Pentagon working from a temporary spending measure for most of the month. President Obama signed a full-year appropriations bill on Jan. 17.

Under the terms of the deal, the Pentagon received $21 billion in sequester relief in 2014, but that topline was roughly $30 billion less than what the Pentagon had proposed in its 2014 budget request.

In January, the Pentagon announced 180 contracts at a maximum value of $8.44 billion, compared to 295 contracts in December worth $24.9 billion.