TWICE EACH YEAR, the American Institute of Architects' Consensus Forecast Panel projects what the next couple of years might hold for the U.S. building industry. The outlook for nonresidential construction at mid-year 2008: gloomy. Whereas last December the panel predicted modest growth in spending for 2008, followed by a slight decline in 2009, in July the expectation was for a 1.2 percent decrease in spending this year, with a sharper 6.7 percent decline next year. The six members of the panel are FMI, Global Insight, McGraw-Hill Construction, Moody's, the Portland Cement Association, and Reed Business Information. To see the specific mid-year forecast from each panel member, go to