The value of new Florida contracts signed in January for future construction tumbled by 50%, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of ENR Southeast. The result was approximately $1.25 billion in new contracts, compared to last January�s total of more than $2.5 billion.

The bad news to start 2011 was widespread, with both the nonbuilding and nonresidential sectors dropping dramatically. The nonbuilding category, which includes infrastructure and civil contracts, fell 78% compared to last January, and totaled $200.3 million. The nonresidential sector experienced a 58% drop for the month, ending up with nearly $397.3 million in new contracts, well down from last January�s $935.4-million total.

The value of residential contracts fell 6% compared to last year, and tallied roughly $662.8 million.