Percentage drop in NEMA's Primary Industrial Controls Index during the second quarter of 2009 vs. the first three months of the year. Although the contraction of shipments of industrial control equipment represents a much slower rate of decline than the first quarter's 23% drop, shipments have declined nearly 40% from their cyclical peak and are at their lowest level in 18 years.

Source: NEMA

Rate of single-family housing starts in July, which is 1.7% above the revised June figure of 482,000.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rating, as measured in July (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). After showing signs of stabilization over the last three months, the index plunged nearly five points in June. Then, it returned to a comparable level in July with what had been reported during the three previous months. According to the AIA, the index is likely to continue to fluctuate for the next few months as the economy begins to stabilize.

Source: The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

The index value for market-rate apartment starts per NAHB's Multifamily Market Indexes for the second quarter of 2009. This level is roughly the same as the past three quarters and less than half the level shown last year at this time. The lower-rent apartment index fell to 21.3 — a dozen points lower than last year's second-quarter level. Lower-rent apartment starts expectations for the next six months showed some improvement, rising from 33.3 in the second quarter of 2008 to 38.2 in the second quarter of 2009.

Source: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

Number of states (plus Washington D.C.) that construction employment fell in for the month of July. A total of 13 states showed a rise in construction employment while three remained steady. Compared to July 2008, construction employment fell everywhere except in Louisiana (3.6%), North Dakota (2.8%), and Mississippi (unchanged). The largest 12-month losses were in Arizona (-28%), Nevada (-25%), Connecticut (-22%), and Kentucky (-21%).

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Associated General Contractors of America