Economic news was mixed with real estate building still lagging behind as construction spending fell unexpectedly to its lowest level in eight years, according to a Commerce Department report.
Spending on construction projects fell by 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted $846.23 billion, the lowest level since November 2002. Economists had predicted a 1 percent cut in spending. Commercial real estate is the main culprit for pulling down an economic recovery as loans go bad and lending remains restricted to consumers and businesses.
When government spending is removed, February spending for all types of construction projects dropped to $553.5 billion, the lowest since January 1999, according to the report.
The stock market is closed Friday and the bond market closes early for Good Friday.