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
Sunderland's 2-2 draw at Aston Villa was probably as much as we deserved, given the share of chances
Boro bounced back from home defeat in some style with a thrilling 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.
After the demolition of Northampton in the cup midweek, the Geordie nation would be well and truly up for the Arsenal visit.