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
Stephen Unwin and William McFall were handed whole life sentences for the brutal murder of 28-year-old Quyen Ngoc Nguyen last August.
The eastbound carriageway is currently closed and will be reduced to one lane in the coming days following a coach crash this morning.
Three horses have died in separate incidents at Hexham racecourse. The British Horseracing Authority has said it is investigating.