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
On a tour of the North East today, the Chancellor George Osborne made a series of promises which he claimed would help create 50,000 jobs.
Hundreds of people are expected to take part in two separate demonstrations in Newcastle tomorrow.
Teesside car parts manufacturer Nifco has announced a new £50 million deal with US car giant Ford.