McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction, reported that the value of new Florida contracts signed in May for future construction declined by 16% overall. However, the nonbuilding market—which includes roads, bridges, sewers and other infrastructure—improved significantly for the second month in a row. The total of all new May contracts was slightly more than $2.3 billion, compared to last May’s $2.8 billion.

The nonbuilding sector improved by 40% in May, compared to a year ago, for a monthly total of about $747.7 million in new contracts. The nonresidential market declined 7%, however, to total slightly more than $1 billion. That compared to last May’s $1.1 billion.

Residential continued its nosedive, and was again the least active market in the state. Its $546.9-million total for May was 51% behind the same time of a year ago, when it experienced nearly $1.1 billion in new contracts.

For the year-to-date, Florida’s overall total for new contracts of nearly $10.5 billion is 31% behind 2008’s pace. So far, nonbuilding is 24% ahead of last year, with more than $3.7 billion in new contracts. Nonresidential, which totals roughly $4 billion through May, is 36% behind '08. Residential is the smallest market on a year-to-date basis. Its $2.7-billion total is 53% behind last year's pace.