Compared to the same period of a year ago, the value of new contracts signed in June  for future construction fell by just 6% overall in North Carolina, and by 25% in South Carolina, according to the latest information from McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction. However, in each case, there were positive numbers in certain sectors.

In North Carolina, the overall total for new project starts was roughly $1.4 billion, down from last June’s total of more than $1.5 billion. Despite the overall downturn, two of the three construction categories measured by McGraw-Hill Construction showed double-digit percentage point increases compared to a year ago.

The residential sector continued to decline, dropping 33% compared to last June to total $523.3 million for the month. The nonbuilding sector – which includes infrastructure projects – increased by 33%, and totaled $251.7 million for the month. Nonresidential was the other positive sector, experiencing a 17% uptick in June for a $674.6-million tally.

For the year-to-date, North Carolina’s overall contract activity is 44% behind 2008’s pace. The nonbuilding sector remains the furthest behind, with its $875.9-million total an estimated 63% behind last year’s pace. Residential is now 51% behind for the year, with nearly $2.7 billion in new contracts through June. The nonresidential category is 18% behind ’08, with approximately $2.8 billion in new contracts so far.

In South Carolina, June contracts fell by an overall rate of 25%. The state’s total was $697.8 million, down from the year-ago total of slightly more than $924.5 million.

The residential sector continued its slide, falling 30% in June compared to the same period of a year ago, for a total of roughly $306.5 million. The nonresidential sector fell by 30%, too, to tally $262.7 million for the month. The value of contracts in the nonbuilding sector increased by 16% compared to a year ago and totaled $128.6 million.

For the year-to-date, South Carolina’s overall contract activity is 50% behind last year’s pace, with nearly $3 billion in new contracts for the first half of the year. The nonresidential category is 38% behind 2008, with roughly $1 billion in new contracts. The residential sector is 49% behind ‘08’s pace, with a nearly $1.5-billion total. The nonbuilding sector is 66% behind last year, with a $445.7-million tally.