Bloomberg By the Numbers: $8.4 Billion

Photograph by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A visitor sits in the cockpit of a Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 Lightning in Farnborough, U.K.

The Defense Department announced $8.4 billion in contract awards in January, the lowest level in at least 22 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That was 66 percent less than December.

The previous low was $12.1 billion in contracts awarded in January 2013, which may have cause a few defense contractors to dispute T.S. Eliot’s proclamation that April was the cruelest month.

Contributing to the January decline: The Pentagon often pushes out more agreements in December, the end of its first quarter; ongoing defense budget reductions and the temporary spending bill, enacted to end October’s 16-day partial government shutdown, that limited contracting.

The Defense Department is required to announce contracts of at least $6.5 million.

“This is a slow time of the contracting year,” said Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners, based in McLean, Virginia. “Warmer weather will bring more spending.”

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