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The MReport Webcast: Tuesday 1/6/2014

Construction project spending fell from October to November, slipping as increases in homebuilding outlays were offset by declines across most other categories. The Commerce Department reported Friday that total construction spending for November fell 0.3 percent from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $975 billion. Economists polled by Econoday predicted a half a percent pickup. Through November, the Commerce Department estimates total 2014 construction spending amounted to nearly $885 billion, a 5.7 percent increase over the same time last year.

According to the Commerce Department, spending on private construction came in at a rate of $698 billion in November, 0.3 percent above October's pace. Residential construction was at a rate of $353 billion, up 0.9 percent from October as both single-family and multifamily spending gained around 1 percent. In the public sector, construction outlays fell to an adjusted rate of $277 billion. In contrast to nonresidential building expenses (which fell nearly 2 percent), spending on homebuilding was up 3 and a half percent to an annual rate of $5.3 billion .                                                      

Royal Bank of Scotland may have to pay additional penalties to settle claims that it sold faulty U.S. mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the housing market crash, according to news reports. RBS had already set aside the equivalent of about 3 billion in U.S. dollars to cover settlement costs relating to the sale of $32 billion dollars’ worth of faulty mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, the conservator of the two GSEs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), might ask the bank to pay up to the equivalent of $7.7 billion in U.S. money to settle the claims, according to a report from Reuters. A spokesperson from FHFA declined to comment on the RBS situation.

About Author: Jordan Funderburk

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