If you watch the evening news, listen to the daily headlines on the radio, or surf the Web for top stories, it's easy to get bogged down by the constant doom and gloom reports on the national economic front. According to Industrial Info Resources, Sugar Land, Texas, there are exceptions to the downturn.

One case in point is the recent analysis of the firm's active project database focusing on the Northeast Region, which indicates that industrial project starts in the second quarter of 2008 in this area are expected to near $10 billion, an increase of 39% over 2007 projects' total investment value (TIV). In the Northeast, the $9.6 billion in forecast spending is sourced out of 186 projects. This figure translates into a project average of $51.6 million, compared to $42 million the same time last year.

Looking at individual states, Pennsylvania has slipped past New York to claim the top spot in the region for the second quarter with $5.1 billion spread over 77 projects. In fact, the Keystone state is currently responsible for 53% of all of the region's spending for the quarter and is carrying an average project TIV of $66 million. New York is a fairly distant second in terms of TIV, with 63 projects worth $2.3 billion.

Additional analysis of regional project data for Q2 reveals a change in which industry is sourcing the most projects in terms of TIV (click here to see Chart). Power has sped right by industrial manufacturing with $5 billion from 41 project starts. Claiming the second spot, alternative fuels has leaped ahead with $1.5 billion over 14 projects. The pharmaceutical-biotech industry is a comfortable third, anticipating a possible $1 billion in project starts divided among 24 projects.