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SUGAR LAND, TX-The value of active North American industrial projects declined in August for the ninth consecutive month to $199.34 billion, according to Industrial Info Resources’s North America Industrial Spending Index. The company says the decline is indicative of the slowdown the industrial sector has experienced since the economy went into decline.

According to the report, industries with the greatest percentage decrease in project spending this year include oil & gas transmission with -79% growth, petroleum refining with -75% growth, pulp & paper with -69% growth, alternative fuels with -65% growth, oil & gas terminals with -55% growth and chemical processing with -47% growth.

IIR calls industrial manufacturing the only bright spot, with an increase in project spending from $33.08 billion in 2008 to $36.14 billion in ’09. It attributes the sector’s growth to increased project starts in the light-rail and semiconductor industries, noting it comes despite production reductions and plant closures in the automotive and heavy manufacturing industries.

Based on actual construction starts, the index is a monthly indicator comparing the current year’s total investment value to the previous year’s. It takes into consideration project-spending activity in 12 vertical industries.

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