As of August 2009, the value of active industrial projects in North America declined for the ninth straight month in a row to $199.34 billion, according to the latest North American Industrial Spending Index (click here to see Chart) from Industrial Info Resources, Sugar Land, Texas.

Showing the greatest percentage decline in project spending this year, industries hit the hardest include oil and gas transmission with -79% growth, petroleum refining (-75%), pulp and paper (-69%), alternative fuels (-65%), oil and gas terminals (-55%), and chemical processing (-47%).

The only bright spot in this gloomy picture comes from the industrial manufacturing sector, which posted an increase in spending from $33.08 billion in 2008 to $36.14 billion in 2009. This growth can be attributed to increased project starts in the light rail and semiconductor sectors, and comes in spite of significant reductions and plant closures in automotive and heavy manufacturing in the United States.