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Construction spending, held back by severe weather, fell 0.6 percent in December, reversing a November gain and ending 1989 with the lowest increase in seven years, the government reported today.

The Commerce Department said residential, non-residential and government construction spending totaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $414.6 billion in December, the lowest rate since last June's 1 percent decline.

For the year, spending totaled $414.7 billion, up 1.2 percent from 1988. The increase was the lowest since a 5.1 percent decline in the 1982 recession year. Spending increased 3 percent in 1988.

Residential spending was pushed down 0.7 percent in December by a 2.8 percent decline in multi-family construction. Single-family spending was up 0.4 percent. Residential spending represents about 50 percent of the total.

Non-residential spending was off 4.3 percent and government spending up 2.9 percent.

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