Construction spending for 2008 was down a little more than 5 percent from 2007. This is according to statistics recently released from the U.S. Commerce Department. This shouldn’t come as a surprise.

What also shouldn’t come as a surprise is the drop in residential construction for 2008. Residential construction fell by more than 27 percent.

On the other hand, non-residential construction was up by 15 percent over last year. Also, according to the Washington Business Journal, this is the third straight year that non-residential construction has seen double-digit gains.

So how is the non-residential market still going strong, while the residential market continues to tumble? I’m sure that part of it has to do with the fact that many non-residential projects were in the pipeline before the economy started to tank. Some of these projects may also be taxpayer funded and the money was already set aside.

But it seems that there has to be more to it. Non-residential construction has been growing for the past three years, so the construction industry must be doing something right. Anyone like to take a guess on how this is possible? Perhaps if you are a sheet metal contractor who does mostly commercial and institutional work, you could tell me how business is going. Just leave a comment on the blog or send me an e-mail, at siegelj@bnpmedia.com.