It's always been an indicator of how the economy is doing, but today builders' worst suspicions were confirmed.
The region has been through one of the biggest downturns in construction in the country.
A lack of private investment and big public projects are being blamed for another year of falling output.
But, as Dan Ashby reports, the figures show there may be signs of a recovery.
You can watch his full report below.
More top news
Paul Brand and guests discuss hard Brexit - and party discipline.
Milder - but at a price.
Sunderland Brexit voters tell ITV News Tyne Tees they feel “vindicated” that Nissan has decided to continue investment at the city’s plant.