Industrial Information Resources of Houston is forecasting 735 new plant startups to come online in 2003, a slight improvement from 705 counted in 2002. IIR defines start-ups to include new construction or previously closed plants restarting with new ownership or new product.

Industries with the most notable growth include food and beverage (157), industrial manufacturing (149) and power plants (148). One of the leading industries in capital spending is the pharmaceutical and biotech sector, with 29 new plants starting up in 2003.

For the past couple of years, capital spending in the power industry has reached an all-time high, says IIR. This trend is expected to continue in 2003 as merchant power plant construction begins to peak. IIR is forecasting capital spending in the power industry to decline after 2003, although future projections indicate that the power industry could realize another growth period between 2005-2010 to meet new demand and to replace lost capacity from older units nearing retirement.

A comprehensive overview of the industrial market is contained in IIR's "2003 Industrial Outlook." For more information, visit