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Renovations Drop in Fourth Quarter

January 27, 2002

U.S. homeowners spent 3% less on remodeling in the fourth quarter, putting off renovations because of the recession, a Harvard University report said.

Homeowners spent $101.3 billion on home improvements in the fourth quarter, down from $104.6 billion a year earlier, according to the Cambridge, Mass., university's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The amount spent on remodeling is an indicator of future sales of appliances and other products, said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program.

"If you add a home office, you've got to fill it with computers and furniture. The amount spent after a project is finished in all likelihood approaches the amount spent on construction."

Remodeling spending reached a record $112.2 billion in the second quarter and fell to $101.4 billion in the third quarter.

--Bloomberg News

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