Planned industrial project spending in North America grew 36.9% in January in a year-over-year comparison with January 2007, according to Industrial Info Resources, Sugar Land, Texas. Currently, there is $327 billion worth of industrial projects scheduled to begin construction in 2008. Most of the growth is occurring in the energy sector, including power, petroleum refining, alternative fuels, and oil and gas production, as well as in the metals and minerals market and pharmaceutical industry.

The power industry alone is planning more than $153 billion in projects in 2008. This represents a 27.5% increase for the industry in a comparison with January 2007. January is the second month in a row of increased project activity, which was preceded by four months of decline.